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Looking at old photos

November 11, 2018

I like assistive devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, but I think audio-only devices are over-hyped. Yes, your devices has thousands of skills. But let’s be serious, what do people really do with them? They play music, check the forecast, and ask the occasional question. Other than that, pretty much everything is in the long-tail.

But I do think assistive devices with screens add some interesting possibilities. I’ve held off on buying one, however, until Google released the Home Hub. I chose to buy it not because I prefer Google’s Assistant to Amazon’s Alexa (although I actually do). No, the reason I bought it was because when not in use you can set it to act as a photo frame for your Google Photos collection. And the device does a great job of adjusting brightness based on lighting conditions, so that it tends to blend into its environment rather than stand out.

I don’t know about you, but I have thousands of digital photos that I almost never look at. Even when we’ve created photo books for more memorable occasions like big vacations, we don’t look at them that often. So I love having a photo frame that without any additional work on my part will remind me of things I’ve done and places I’ve been. I’ve even started slowly uploading (uplink speeds still generally suck on home network connections)  more photos so that I have even more opportunities to remember. Several times a day I find myself looking more closely at a photo to see where it is (the Hub helpfully labels photos with the album they’re from to help you identify it).

If I could make one change to the photo frame experience, I’d have it assign sample frequency to albums rather than by number of photos. Trips with lots of photos show up more often, when what I’d prefer is that it sample more evenly across albums (ensuring a more even distribution of memories across time). But I recognize that’s totally a personal preference, and albums with more photos do admittedly tend to have more notable moments within them.

From → Hardware

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