With the help of crowd-funding site Kickstarter, the Chicago-based startup Monument is taking wings.
Monument is named for its main product, a storage device that uses artificial intelligence to enable users to store and organize their photos.
The self-proclaimed “cloud device” syncs and organizes photo and video content from smartphones and cameras so that users can avoid the burden of storing, organizing, and backing up their data. The step-by-step process is broken down like so:
- Monument collects the user’s photos and videos by being synced to the user’s devices.
- Monument organizes the photos and videos by face, location, camera, scene, and a variety of other factors.
- The user can then sync whatever viewing device (tablets, smartphones, laptops, televisions) to Monument to view his or her stored pictures.
According to the startup, Monument fills a crucial gap in our highly recorded lives:
“We are taking more photos than ever. Smartphones, digital cameras and action cams are all around us, and capturing our best memories has become a part of every day life.”
Monument believes that while recording more of life is a positive thing, storing and organizing it can prove challenging.
“Unfortunately, storing, organizing and accessing these memories is still very difficult, requiring a computer and lots of time. And while cloud services offer a partial solution, we have to pay monthly fees for the rest of our lives.”
Monument has a point there; renting virtual space (or server space) indefinitely has been seen by many as a major downside to cloud computing as a storage option.
“Plus the whole privacy thing,” Monument adds.
“The tools we need to manage our photos have not evolved at the same pace as our awesome cameras. We knew there had to be a better way, and we set out to find it with one simple mission: ‘Make managing our photos and videos as easy as taking them!'”
Monument attempts to do exactly that by using advanced artificial intelligence algorithms that immediately organize content as it is stored. The content is sorted based on a variety of labels including date, time, location, cameras, faces, and particular things in a photo.
Monument then provides you with many options for how you want to view your photos. You can use the Time Machine feature, or check out your Favorites. Faces allows you to search for photos showing certain people and World Map displays all of your photos on a map.
Another revolutionary take on the storage drive: Monument makes it possible for users to never run out of storage by adding drives as time goes on or replacing their Monument with a larger one. “Flexible storage” is a term not yet uttered in the storage drive industry, but Monument envisioned it.
Monument even automatically backs up to any other Monument device you own, a feature you won’t truly appreciate until you need it. Users can choose between local backups and remote backups depending on what works best for them.
So basically, if this Monument thing pans out, there will be a drive-cloud storage device hybrid on the market that charges no monthly fees, automatically organizes content, offers flexible storage capabilities and no-doubt privacy, has face recognition capabilities, performs automatic backups, can connect to TVs and synch to cameras, and can be organized into family accounts.
As it stands, the Monument has 244 Kickstarter backers who have collectively donated about $30,000. They have 4o more days to make it to their bottom goal of $60,000, and they promise that $100,000 will make the technology multilingual, $250,000 will allow Monument to support streaming to Apple TV and Google Chromecast, and $350,000 will prompt a new Monument color as voted by backers.