About this project
Below is the video of the our alpha version demonstration. We are currently focusing on implementing all the functions first so we can cover the major milestones before fine-tuning all the transitions and visual details.
In this video, we demonstrate ease and efficiency of the following functions:
- Focus & capture
- Flip camera
- Preview image
- Turn flash on/off.
Here are some of the filters we are working on. We still have to apply textures and grains for vintage photos filters, but we couldn't wait to share them with you guys. :)
GESTURES is going to provide a fundamentally better picture taking experience for the rest of us – people who just want to take great pictures quickly without the clutter of traditional camera interfaces or complex settings we never use.
Think of this camera app as a clear window to our beautiful moments in life. Now we can capture them effortlessly with simple gestures.
There are no gimmicks or complicated features – it's just you and your memories captured in those images, and nothing in between.
Here are some of the key features:
It all started back in 2004 when I was a college newspaper photographer. I used to carry around a giant, expensive digital camera everywhere I went. From school events to family gatherings and road trips, I was always the one taking pictures.
I'm not exactly an out-going person, but felt even more left out at the time probably because I wasn't really "getting in the moment" like everyone else was. I was too busy taking pictures and taking care of my fancy camera (well, it was actually my school camera, which made me even more nervous).
I eventually stopped taking pictures for quite awhile... until I realized nobody else was taking pictures and that I had no record of special moments in my life or cool places I had been... so I decided to pick up the camera again.
When I was looking into various digital cameras and camera apps, noticed something a little odd – camera interfaces really haven't changed much in over 10 years.
Even though we have amazing touchscreen devices capable of understanding very intricate finger gestures, we still depend heavily on interacting with tiny little buttons to do some of the most basic things, instead of using simple gestures.
We also have to reach across the screen or bend our fingers in an awkward way to use those buttons.
And they all look and work the same.
Instead of taking advantage of today's touchscreen capabilities to make our picture taking experience better at the fundamental level, many of them just shuffle around the buttons to differentiate themselves from their competitors...
Or try to one-up each other by piling on more and more gimmicks like stickers, backgrounds, frames, etc...
Or by adding more complex features and settings most of us don't really care for.
That's why we decided to make a camera app by taking the completely opposite direction and...
GESTURES is going to take full advantage of today's touchscreen capabilities and provide a fundamentally better picture taking, managing, and sharing experience by:
- Replacing outdated camera interfaces with simple gestures so you can take, manage, and share pictures more effortlessly
- Minimizing clutter and distractions so you can immerse yourself in the experience of capturing beautiful things in life
- Auto-enhancing images in the background so you don't have to worry about color balance, vibrancy, contrast, etc
Rather than adding more bells and whistles, we focus on enhancing the most essential core features of the camera.
When we try to capture a fleeting moment, every second counts – GESTURES opens faster than all the other camera apps in the market because there are no heavy graphic interfaces or extra screens to go through.
Here is the camera opening speed comparison:
- Camera+ (3.20 - 3.81 sec)
- Camera Awesome (4.20 - 4.78 sec)
- Blux Pro (6.00 - 7.60 sec)
- ProCam (5.01 - 5.73 sec)
- VSCOcam (3.80 - 3.81 sec)
- Instagram Camera (5.38 - 6.56 sec)
- Facebook Camera (8.16 - 10.25 sec)
- GESTURES (2.35 - 2.36 sec)
Because we can tap directly on the screen to focus and capture at the same time, it encourages us to take pictures with natural depth and focus rather than applying fake blur filters.
We focus on bringing out the natural beauty of things we capture with subtle but gorgeous enhancements, rather than using extreme filters or textures that would make our memories feel less genuine. Plus applying all those extra layers of filter effects and textures takes longer to process and save.
We are currently working on a universal gesture language that will allow us to systematically assign gestures to functions so that every gesture is logical, easy to remember, and consistent on all the apps we will be creating.
Today there are no standards in gesture-based digital experiences. Even the apps created by the same company have inconsistent rules when it comes to gestures, if there is any rule at all.
That's why we're trying to define a universal gesture language that everyone can benefit from in the near future.
Clutter and outdated user experiences exist everywhere in our digital space beyond the camera apps. Our technologies have advanced so much, but our old habits and outdated expectations are holding us back from truly taking advantage of them and elevating our digital experiences to the next level.
We've had a few amazing opportunities to speak at various events about the future of mobile and how we can enhance our digital experiences.
Below is the summary of the presentation:
Starting with the GESTURES camera app, we'd like to demonstrate how simple gestures can help make our digital interfaces minimalistic and beautiful while making our experiences more efficient and effortless.
The Kickstarter funding will be used to add the following key enhancements to the iOS version of GESTURES:
- Manual exposure control
- Sort/filter pictures by albums or tags
- Tag pictures
- Share pictures to more social networks (Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram)
- Additional filters
- Crop & Rotate functions
Depending on how much more we raise, the extra money will be put towards developing the Android version of GESTURES and adding other enhancements to the iOS version.
We would like to thank our awesome team for working tirelessly around the clock to get things done.
And on the personal side, We would like to thank our families for being there for us while we were busy with work and unable to spend time with them.
Oh, and Jinju for snuggling and doubling as my arm pillow when Sung is tired. :)
Risks and challenges
Currently the biggest challenges are finance and time.
We've already invested all of our savings in the project because we strongly believe in it, but it doesn't change the fact that it's putting financial strains on our families. Sung's wife has been very supportive by moving into his parents' house and letting him sell his car so he could put more money towards the project. So if possible, we wouldn't want to put any more burden on her.
Plus, that would increase the chance of other camera app competitors to implement some of my ideas on their apps (We already have 2 camera app competitors signed up to be our beta testers.)
If we get the Kickstarter funding successfully, we will be able to complete all the enhancements and launch it by early next year!
Then it all rests on the shoulders of users.
We have no doubt in my mind that this camera app will provide the most efficient and effortless way to capture, manage, and share pictures. But there are 2 questions only users can answer:
- How long will it take for them to adopt this new set of conventions?
- How much of resistance will I get from people who are not so fond of changes?
No matter how easy this app is to use, there will always be people complaining about the new changes and leaving bad reviews on the app -- that's why we need your help!
If you love our camera app, please leave us your awesome reviews with lots of stars and share with your friends especially on Facebook and Twitter!
Starting with this camera app, we are going to make some fundamental changes in the way we interact with our digital world for the better. And we can't do it without you guys!
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