Product Inspiration

Story Now provides an innovative and efficient tool for people to organise their photos, based on the highlights and stories they remember. It significantly improved the accessibility of photos from unorganised and dated albums for the users.

Imagine you are having a great conversation with a friend of yours and you were talking about the trip you made to Italy last summer. You had a great time last summer in Rome and you would like to show your friend some photos. They might be some very interesting/memorable moments you had in Italy, such as the photo of this absolutely delicious pizza you enjoyed in a local restaurant or the most magnificent sunset you had ever seen in your life. Either reason drives you to start scrolling down your photo album/ or (if you are by chance living a modern lifestyle) google drive. After 5 minutes of attempts to pick out that relevant photos from you messy album, your friend started to feel sorry for making you trying so hard and you are kind of embarrassed for not even able to find a photo from your album - sometimes finding a small rectangle from the sea of colours are really challenging.

Life will be so much better with a programme that would pick out relevant photos for you as you tell your story. No one has to be distracted, and no one will get embarrassed. You can happily focus on telling your stories, and not your phone but you have the attention. Wins.

Clear Target Market/ Audience:

  1. Individual with needs for efficiency photo sorting and simultaneous slide-showing, in casual or formal settings.
  2. blog writer
  3. Travellers for story-telling
  4. Visually impaired individuals for making a presentation (potentially)

Challenges

  1. Google mini home connection issues
  2. Google assistant fulfilment guide is outdated
  3. Google photo restricts access to photo location
  4. Integration of the algorithms and the website

Development

There are 3 main aspects of the product developments we have managed in the past 24 hours. This includes hardware adaptation, Natural language processing and photo matching, and web product development.

The hardware adaptation involves getting a google home mini connected and building Actions on Google Assistant to extend its functionality such that it does the speech recognition and simultaneously upload the transcribed script onto the website we developed.

We then apply the NLP package, mainly Azure, in processing the script into the combination of named entity, sentiment and key phase. Some parts of the spacy package are also incorporated in finding noun chunk and word vectors. These are important parameters we used in matching the sentences to the most relevant photo.

For the web product development, the main task involves extracting photos from google drive using google API and picking up each photos’ key basic information including location and time using EXIF package for JavaScript. It then follows by implementing the previously built algorithms in photo matching and voice recognition. As the user speaks, the website would show the transcript and matched photos simultaneously. Other additional features such as music playing button and exporting to album/ppt options can then be added on.

Market Size Estimation

Given the permeability is around 90% in the UK, and a population is about 66.8. Millions in total. Assuming only 40% would use an online-based photo album service the market would be around 24 million.

Looking at the Google Drive app download times in App Store UK, there are about 261k downloads in total, which means if this software is integrated as a feature in google photo/google drive, it will serve at least 200k users.

Business model:

Considering the product as two possible forms: 1. An Independent service provider such as a website and phone app. 2. An extension/ additional features for other service providers who already have the photo album service.

For the first model, consider providing the service for free in exchange for higher click-through rate and revenue can be generated from the advertisement. With built-up consumer base, we can then provide a premium version of membership with add-on features. Alternatively, we can provide the service at a different level of detection accuracy - lite, advanced and premium. Charging a once-off rate. User can trait the lite version for free for the first month.

For the second model, consider licensing the product/ patent to another service provider, forming a partnership with a famous brand such as google and apple would help small start-up like us to tap into the bigger consumer market. Having their technical team in improving the service together also help to accelerate the maturation of our product.

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