Why have we started Monument?
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 everyday life.
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. Plus the whole privacy thing.
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!"
The Monument app on iOS and Android automatically transfers photos and videos from your phone to Monument.
By default, syncing starts upon connecting to your home Wi-Fi network. This achieves a faster transfer rate and relieves stress on your smartphone battery. You can also sync your photos and videos when you're away from home by enabling remote syncing in the app settings.
The SD Card slot on Monument accepts standard SD Cards. When a new SD Card is inserted for the first time, a notification is displayed in the app asking you whether the content should be imported. Upon approval, all the content is stored in Monument.
Our advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithms start organizing all of your content as it is stored on Monument. It sorts everything by date, time, location, cameras as well as faces and what's in a photo.
Since everything is organized, instead of just browsing photos on a simple timeline, Monument provides you multiple ways to view them.
- Time Machine: It's a perfect tool to look back on your memories, be it two years or ten years ago. Great for Instagram throwbacks? Yeah, we know!
- Favorites: Have something great that you always want to have with you and access quickly? Just fave it, and now it has a special place.
- Faces: Quickly view your photos of any specific person. It’s easier than ever to find and enjoy memories of your loved ones.
- World Map: Monument displays all your photos on a map. Zoom and pan around to find your most memorable destinations. You don't have to be a globetrotter to use this, but it will look much nicer if you are.
- Cameras: Have more than one camera? See the photos taken with each. Another great way to find what you’re looking for!
Our algorithms analyze your photos to understand what’s in them. So you can find the photo you’re looking for by searching with keywords, such as snow, beach, mountain or outdoor. No manual tagging or organizing required.
Monument makes it easy to enjoy all of your content on any iOS or android device.
To view your photos and videos on big screen, Monument offers direct HDMI connection to your TV.
Monument uses external USB drives for storage to give you complete flexibility. You can have as much or as little storage as you need. Below you can see some example configurations and corresponding capacity:
- 1 Disk (1TB) - Stores up to 150,000 Photos or 70 hours of video
- 2 Disks (2x 1TB) - Stores up to 300,000 Photos or 140 hours of video
- 2 Disks (2x 2TB) - Stores up to 600,000 Photos or 280 hours of video
Calculations are based on photos taken by an entry level DSLR Camera (Using JPEG Fine settings) and videos recorded by an iPhone 6 (1080p at 60fps). Actual figures may vary. 2TB is just an example and not a limitation.
As you need more space by time, you can increase Monument’s capacity by adding another drive or replacing one with a larger model.
Everyone we have talked to loves the idea of flexible storage, and we’re sure you’ll love it, too.
Backups are a must for everyone, but we rarely remember to back up our photos and videos. Monument provides two options to protect your precious data.
- Local Backup: You can connect two disk drives that will be used in a RAID-1 configuration, i.e. disks will be mirrored.
- Remote Backup: Monument can back up all data to a remote Monument device over internet using a secure connection.
Monument is developed specifically to answer all photo and video management needs. It tries to simplify all the steps involved in managing your photos, namely; storing, organizing, viewing, sharing and making sure they are protected.
We also wanted to provide users a solution without any strings attached. A solution that will be with them in the long haul.
Using an iPhone? Watch this video to see what Monument can do for you.
Using an action cam? Watch this video to see how Monument can help you.
Using a camera and a smartphone? Watch this to see what Monument can do for you.
Monument's Artificial Intelligence technology understands the scenes in photos and performs face recognition. Monument is able to classify photographs into classes such as beach, mountains, snow, city, indoor etc. The final list of categories will be later determined.
As photos are classified, you can easily search your archives and quickly find your photos.
Monument detects the faces in your photos and our app provides an easy to use interface to manage these faces. Once you teach Monument whose face is whose, it will automatically group your photos according to who is in them.
You have full control over which people will be detected by Monument, and you can add or remove people whenever you want.
Our passion for photography and making things inspired us to build the photo management solution of our dreams. In the last year, we have designed, coded and built prototypes to make our vision a reality.
We showcased Monument at CES in January. From start to finish, our booth was packed with visitors. We received great feedback and met many wonderful people throughout the show. They loved Monument, and you will, too.
We're a passionate team of eight that has become a family, including industrial designers, electrical engineers, software engineers and UI/UX experts. We embarked on to a mission: to make photo and video management as easy as taking one.
We started our journey in Istanbul, and are currently headquartered in beautiful Chicago.
- Startupbootcamp Istanbul for helping us progress a lot faster.
- ITU Gate for helping us with our transition to the US.
- 1871 Incubation Center in Chicago for being our home.
- Objectlab for working with us to create a great design that everybody loves!
- HWTrek for their support with design and manufacturing.
And most importantly, we thank our families for their tremendous support, without them this wouldn't have been possible.
This project is promoted by Jellop, a direct response online advertising agency specializing in Kickstarter campaigns on Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.
Risks and challenges
Bringing a product into a market can be hard as there are so many aspects involved. Let us briefly tell you about these:
After two prototypes, we have our third prototype manufactured in by our partners in Shenzhen, China, the manufacturing capital of the world. This prototype is functional and mostly in its final stage, requiring only minor changes. Our manufacturing partner has extensive experience with the chipset we are using and this will also help us with inventory management and sourcing.
2. Industrial Design:
We have finalized our design and it's mostly ready for molding and mass manufacturing. We have selected our manufacturing partner and will start designing the mold as soon as the project is funded.
We have most parts of the mobile software ready, but only tested on iOS platform. The software framework we use allows us to use the same codebase on Android as well, and we will start testing with different devices. The firmware that runs on the device is built as separate modules. Photo management, communication interface and face detection routines are mostly complete. Scene detection, video management and some glue logic is still under development.
We estimate deliveries to begin in September and we will do our best to meet this deadline. Should we encounter any delays, we will always share the latest good and bad news with you.
The Monument Team
- (41 days)