About Paul Worthington

Paul Worthington is a journalist and consumer imaging consultant. He produces the annual Future Imaging Summit at PMA@CES, and writes for PMA Newsline and PMA Magazine, as well as other publications.

Google’s “fresh approach to Photos”

google photos

google photos

Google today officially announced its long-rumored online picture service, with free storage for “a lifetime of memories” — unlimited, high-quality photos and videos.

“Every second of every day, people around the world are capturing their memories through photos and videos,” the company says. “Humankind has already taken trillions of photos and will take another trillion this year alone.”

However, “the more moments we capture, the more challenging it becomes to relive those memories. Photos and videos become littered across mobile devices, old computers, hard drives and online services (which are constantly running out of space). It’s almost impossible to find that one photo right at the moment you need it, and sharing a bunch of photos at once is frustrating, often requiring special apps and logins.

“We wanted to do better. So today we’re introducing Google Photos.”

(As Apple earlier this year rolled out its own “Photos” service, you’d think Google could have gone with maybe “Pictures” — but more than likely the idea is to position its offering as direct competition.)

The standalone product (spun out of the stalled Google + social service) provides private online picture storage, as well as organization, sync, and image optimization features. There will be desktop, web, Android, and iOS versions. The service will maintain the original resolution, up to 16 megapixels for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos.

“With this launch we’ve made a lot of progress towards eliminating many of the frustrations involved in storing, editing and sharing your memories,” Google adds. “But we have a lot more in store—so as you keep snapping photos and capturing videos, we’ll keep working on making them even easier to store, share and bring to life.”

Here’s more information.


GoPro developing quadcopters and virtual reality

gopro vr capture

gopro vr capture

Guess it’s not enough to be the camera aboard most quadcopters: GoPro announced it’s working on its own drone, as well an array for holding multiple modules for capturing immersive motion VR environments.

TechCrunch reports six cameras will record a spherical video.

Here is the full article.

Today Show spotlights MailPix’ photo pillows

mailpix pillow

mailpix pillow

MailPix continues to come up with different photo-personalized products — and ways to market them.

The print provider got its latest wares on The Today Show this week, offering 75 percent off the customized photo burlap pillows for a limited time.

The result? Before the day was half-over, it “had already become the largest day in MailPix history!” says CEO Fred Lerner.

It’s the company’s second time on the show. “MailPix was thrilled to be invited back to appear on NBC’s Today Show segment, Jill’s Steals and Deals,” Lerner adds.

The personalized pillows can be ordered in either 16×16-inch or 18×18-inch sizes. You can choose to print full-bleed single images or collages, and choose a different image on each side. Burlap is a coarse woven fabric made from vegetable fiber. “Enjoy rustic home decor without living in the country,” the company adds.

Try capturing a “Panoselfie”



Is the much-maligned selfie better when it’s wider? That’s the idea behind the “panoselfie” — get more of the environment in your shot, so it’s not just a distorted close-up of your own ugly mug.

“They’re fun and look great,” writes MetaFilter founder Matt Haughey, “letting you fit both large groups and giant landscapes into a photo.”

Taking one is as simple as you might think, although it might require a little trial and error, Haughey adds. “Set your stock iPhone camera app to panorama mode. Hold your arms out straight away from you as far as possible. Turn the phone 90º to the right so you’re staring at the side of your phone, hit the camera button to start the shot, then smoothly spin your phone clockwise 180º towards you until the phone finishes, pointing at your left shoulder.”

Here is the full article.

On the PMA Podcast: Saving and organizing your photos

Nelson Cathi appo


Nelson Cathi appo

According to the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, almost two trillion printed photos still languish in boxes and containers, rich with stories and traditions waiting to be shared and enjoyed. 1 Trillion more are taken every year.

Cathi Nelson founded APPO as an answer to the growing need for assistance for organizing an influx of digital photo memories, printed photos, media and memorabilia.

On this episode of the PMA Podcast, Nelson talks about the growth of the organization, and the work starting now on the upcoming Save Your Photos Day marketing campaign.

You can download the audio episode or subscribe to the podcast here.


Or you can tune in now with the player below.

Online storage revitalizes old photos, takes no rights


The industry often talks about the Yeas and Nays of various storage methods; two recent articles also show some strong pros and cons.


VentureBeat editor-in-chief Dylan Tweney writes of uploading all 24,280 of his family’s photos to Google Drive, and how “what happened next blew my mind.” The photo collections dates back “over a decade, back to when we got our first digital camera in 2000. Google gradually worked its way through our photo library, creating animations and stories year after year, and in the process bringing up moments I had forgotten about and photos I hadn’t looked at in years,” he says. “Some of the animated GIFs were goofy and funny. Some were amazing little snippets, moments in time captured and suddenly reappearing a decade later. Some of the enhanced photos were odd and unbeautiful, but still intriguing. The stories didn’t have much narrative, but they stitched together key moments of big days in ways I hadn’t bothered to do myself. In short, Google had reached into the depths of an overwhelmingly large photo library, identified some highlights, and put them together in a way that surprised and delighted me… They provide entry points into our my family’s memories, and our photo library, in a way that no other tech product I can remember has done.”

The full story is here.


Meanwhile, many worry about the legal rights they may or may not lose when turning over the images to an online service. Petapixel lays it all out and takes a look at “What Top Cloud Storage Services Say About Your Photo Rights.”


Their conclusion? “It would appear the privacy hysteria of online file storage and photography is exactly that — exaggerated. Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Amazon Cloud all allow you to keep full control of your content and do not use your data outside the service. However, Google’s terms of service may be somewhat concerning for some as they are not specific and do note that Google gains a license over your content.”

Read the full article here.


Interesting ad approach: Olympus will “cure DSL-ARM”

olympus slr arm

olympus slr arm

in an effort to promote the size and weight benefits of its smaller interchangeable lens cameras, Olympus is lampooning a poor enthusiast picture-taker whose arm has stretched grotesquely due to his SLR’s weight.

“Many people living with DSL-ARM are suffering silently,” the video proclaims, “unaware that there’s a cure… DSL-ARM can only be cured with a smaller, lighter camera. …You’ll get all the power of a DSLR without all the size. Don’t you think you’ve suffered long enough?… Let the healing begin.”

What do you think — a good approach to marketing the completive differences in ILCs?

Here’s the video.

Narrative adds WiFi to wearable cam

Narrative Clip2 lady

Narrative Clip2

With the upcoming Clip 2 wearable camera, Narrative will increase the capture resolution to 8-megapixel, and add WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Swedish company says its $199 device allows you to capture “Memories like you’ve never shared them before: Authentic smiles, sudden surprises, or your baby’s first step. The automatic photo capture of Narrative Clip 2 lets you stay in the moment while capturing it. Keep your mind and hands free when it matters, while still being able to collect and share your stories.”

Also, its online service’s smart algorithms provide “automatic organization,” Narrative adds, and “sorts your photos into collections of moments and highlights your best shots to let you easily dive in and relive or share your favorites.”

For WiFi, the camera has to be connected to an external power source since you can’t move 8GB of data through the air on such a small battery.”

The Narrative Clip 2 is also weatherproof, adds a gyroscope, and has a wider lens (86 degrees) than its predecessor (68 degrees). It should ship in the Fall.

Here’s more information.

Narrative Clip2 specs


Silicon that sees and learns



Chip developer Synopsys “showed off a new image-processor core tailored for deep learning,” reports MIT’s Technology Review, that may “add a degree of visual intelligence to many kinds of devices, from phones to cheap security cameras.”

The tech may be added to chips for smartphones, cameras, and cars — where it will recognize speed-limit signs. Thanks to “deep-learning” it can be trained to recognize faces for video surveillance, using significantly less power than conventional chips.

Here is the full article.



Speakers signing on for Fall’s Mobile Photo Connect

Mobile Photo Connect


This year the annual Mobile Photo Connect will “take a deep dive into the driving forces behind today’s unprecedented surge in mobile imaging and visual communication, says organizer Suite 48 Analytics.

The conference moves to a larger venue, the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco’s Presidio Park.

“Mobile Photo Connect brings together entrepreneurs, investors and senior executives active in the global mobile photo and video ecosystem,” the company says, and will feature panel discussions on tomorrow’s use cases, monetizing photo engagement, disrupting through hardware innovation, and taking mobile photo startups through successful exits.

Initial speakers include:

  • Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Head of Product, Flickr
  • Joe Rago, Director Mobile Innovation Program, Walgreens
  • James Joaquin, Co-founder and Managing Director, Obvious Ventures
  • Eric Cheng, Director of Aerial Imaging, DJI
  • Vijay Vachani, Director, Partner Ecosystem, Adobe
  • Oren Boiman, CEO, co-founder, Magisto
  • Jackie Dove, Creativity Editor, The Next Web
  • Jan Senderek, Product Manager, Dropbox
  • Don Strickland, President and CEO, Strickland & Associates
  • Yi Li, CEO, Orbeus

There will also be three show & tell sessions in which 30 app developers will demo their wares.

Mobile Photo Connect is September 29, 2015. PMA is a media sponsor.