Sunday, December 10, 2017

Stocked App Update Released

Project Status: App Update

The Stocked App

Stocked is an app for stock photographers. It provides a continuous stream of real search data generated by photo buyers. It will give photographers ideas for photos to take and will also help them in knowing what keywords to tag photos with.

Beta Version 0.0.41 Rollout

This version calculates a market value for each group of keywords that comes in. When keywords are used more often and have less photos already for sell, that's when their market value is shown higher.

When you see keywords with higher market values you should apply them to matching photos you already have for sale. This should boost your exposure in the market and gain more sales.

If you don't already have any photos for sale that match the keywords with high market values, then go take some new ones to post. This app should be great for generating ideas if you are in a photographer's rut.

Get it on Google Play

Coming Features

Soon there will be tabs to provide various lists in addition to the live stream which is provided now.

Check It Out On YouTube

Here's a quick video of the app in case you don't have Android but want to see what it's about.



Friday, December 1, 2017

Drippy - Beta Release

Project Status: App Beta Release



About the App

Count drips from a leaky faucet and learn how much water is wasted over time from that leak. Provides an estimate of how many gallons of water will be lost from a sink, tub, or other various types of plumbing problems.

This release is a very rough Beta version. Expect updates to improve the stability of the app as well as the usability.

This is my first app release as I am learning how to develop apps for Android, so please keep your expectations low.


Get it on Google Play

Stocked - Beta Release

Project Status: Beta App Release


About the App

This app is for stock photographers. A continuous stream of real search data, generated by photo buyers, is updated every ten minutes.

By seeing which keywords and search terms people are actually using, photographers will have the edge they need to get their photos sold on popular stock photo sites.

The search data provided will not only help sellers to fine tune key phrases for tagging photos, it will also help generate ideas for new photos to take. By seeing not only the search terms used but also the number of results found, the valuable photos people want but are not finding will stand out.

This release is a rough Beta version. Expect updates to improve the stability of the app as well as the usability.

I sincerely apologize for any foul content that appears. The data is live from users around the world so anything could show up. The more data that comes in the better I can get at filtering it, but at this time very little filtering is done. Hopefully I will be able to add a content flagging feature at some point so that users of this app may help to remove unwanted content.


Get it on Google Play

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Missing Animals - Facebook Feature Request

Project Status: Draft


Problem

When pets go missing or when someone finds a lost pet and attempts to track down the owner we often see posts for this on social media such as Facebook.

Solution

I think Facebook should first build the Missing Persons Feature Request I mentioned and then adapt it for use with missing pets. In this way when people in a most likely area the pet might be are scrolling through Facebook they could see a carousel slider of missing pets near them.

This solution is conceptually a bit different from missing persons and for that reason is should not be the same feature but a derivative of it.

Who can post information and updates

While we still need the information to be live and up to date even after it begins propagating around it not longer needs to be tightly controlled for accuracy and details by the authorities. With pets the two main groups controlling the data now need to be the person(s) looking for a missing pet and the person who finds a pet.

Photos - Yes facial recognition for pets works

Often times pet owners will have tons of photos of their them. However, when trying to find a lost pet we normally only see one or two photos shared. I think the user should be able to share a set of many photos. The algorithms can then automatically feature the best "mug shot" like photo of the animal and can build the 360 degree view from the remaining photos in the same way mentioned in the missing persons idea. The rest of the photo group could still be viewed once someone really starts digging into the post.

With more photos it is much easier for a facial recognition to work, in this way when someone starts taking photos of a found animal Facebook can have more information to compare with. So instead of one person posting one photo of a lost dog and one person posting one of a found dog and then hoping that someone across Facebook happens to see both photos and match connect the dots, we can now have Facebook also working hard to do that in the background.

After all the recognition doesn't even have to be very accurate if you think about it. All it really needs to do is find the closest matches within the closest area and suggest those to both parties to let them decide.

Apple Face ID for pets

One cool use for things like Apple Face ID would be to use the facial scanning feature when finding a missing pet (sure, when you are done laughing feel free to continue reading, lol). Think about it though, mapping quickly mapping the animal's face and sharing that rich data set could vastly increase the ability to find a match quicker.

There are two cases where this would come into play. One being if the pet owner was proactive enough to (once this becomes a possibility with Apple Face Id) scan the pet's face before it went missing. If that was the case they could include the scan with the data provided to Facebook. In the other case the person who located an animal could scan and include the information in the Facebook feature.

In either case it is not a requirement but a benefit because either both parties have scanned and the match should be made almost instantly or one of the parties posts a scan and it is more easily matched to the photos posted by the other party.

Accurate and timely information

By building this in as a Facebook feature the company can gear the idea towards making a consistent look and feel with live information that is always up to date and helpful. It will have a clearer photo and a more rich set of information to dig into. It can be shown to the most likely people that need the information and of course like any other post it should be something that can be muted if people don't want to see this in their news feed.

What is a "draft" post?

This post is still in a draft state. Meaning that I have not done any or have done very little research about this topic. It also means that I hope to come back at some point and update the post with clearer descriptions and any applicable graphics related to the clarification of the idea.

I have basically only outlined my rough idea here until a point when I have time to come back and flesh this post out into something more useful to others. I went into a little more detail on another post about why there are so many pipe dream drafts on this blog.

It is notable to mention that the more views this page gets and the more interest it gathers, the more likely I will be to work on it before other drafts on this blog.

Missing Persons - Facebook Feature Request

Project Status: Draft

Problem

When people go missing we often see friends and family start to post on Facebook. This normally happens with good intentions but in an inefficient manner. Also there is little done about follow-up information, meaning if someone has been found the post might continue to be reshared for some time.

Workaround

Currently it is friends and family that we see starting these posts and then trying to personally keep up with comments and interactions directly. 

Solution

I see carousel sliders all the time in Facebook (at least on mobile) suggesting friends I might want to connect with or even marketplace items for sale. I believe missing people to be far more important than selling random items or sponsored ads and posts.

I think that Facebook needs to add a feature which will allow authorities to make official posts of missing persons. These posts should show up as a carousel slider for people in the most likely areas that the person might be found.

Racing the clock

In this way the information may be sent and viewed more quickly by more people in the most effective areas. As done now by friends and family the post slowly gets shared and the locations it propagates to will be all over the map. Imagine if we sent out things like tornado warns like this. People that needed the information would likely not see it or see it way too late. Also many people would see lots of warnings for areas they aren't effected by and soon would starts ignoring each warning or at least taking them much less seriously. Sounds like a pretty bad way of sharing information but sadly that is how we are currently sharing missing persons information on social media.

Accurate and timely information

By building this in as a Facebook feature the company can gear the idea towards making a consistent look and feel with live information that is always up to date and helpful.

So instead of some random Facebook user starting a post and letting it be reshared over and over with stale information, we can now have a card view with live information on it at all times. No need to read through a ton of comments and try to learn if the person has already been found.

Better photos

Every photo on Facebook is processed with computer vision and machine learning to extract faces and learn who people are. This can be used for good in this case because when the authorities publish the missing persons report they can have access to all public photos of the person. The algorithms can automatically pull out the best "mug shot" style recent photo of the person.

In most cases it could probably even automatically edit the last known shirt or top for the person. In addition to the already public Facebook photos to grad from friends and family should still be able to provide authorities with photos for publication. After all, don't we all pretty much wear the same clothes all the time. Meaning for example, if someone went missing and was last know to be wearing that green shirt we have a photo of from two years ago, it should be able to merge that old photo of the shirt onto the most recent photo of a face we are posting.

Why stop there with photos? I would take it a step further for sure. By aggregating several photos of the missing person together Facebook could automatically build a 360 degree view of the person's entire head and shoulders. When you scroll through and first see a group of local current missing persons their may be facing you. Then in the same way you can drag a 360 degree photo or video around you could swipe to view the person from a profile view and so on.

Don't be intrusive

Overwhelming people with information actionable may cause problems. It would not be a good idea to pump too much information out to people, imagine opening Facebook in New York City for example and seeing tons of missing persons listed.

Some people may not want this to show up in their normal news feed at all actually and just like with other posts they should have the option to turn toggle it off. However, I think it should always be a feature you can get to in some way such as when you search for a person's name or the single item makes it to your news feed because one of your direct friends interacted with it. It could also be in the settings as a feature you can turn back on when you want.

The trick is to find the perfect balance of getting the right information to the right people at the right time and not flooding them with so much information that they feel they are unable to help or are completely overwhelmed by the experience.

What is a "draft" post?

This post is still in a draft state. Meaning that I have not done any or have done very little research about this topic. It also means that I hope to come back at some point and update the post with clearer descriptions and any applicable graphics related to the clarification of the idea.

I have basically only outlined my rough idea here until a point when I have time to come back and flesh this post out into something more useful to others. I went into a little more detail on another post about why there are so many pipe dream drafts on this blog.

It is notable to mention that the more views this page gets and the more interest it gathers, the more likely I will be to work on it before other drafts on this blog.