Nowadays, we all walk around with a camera in our pockets at all times. This makes it so much easier to take photos – but also easier to forget about them in the endless space of digital storage.
Memogram wants to change this, and it’s one of the most interesting concepts I’ve seen in a while. It’s a diploma project by Jamy Herrmann, and it’s something like a reverse text-to-image generator. This camera lets you use your phone to take photos as you normally would. However, it turns them into verbal descriptions rather than actual images. It’s meant to help you relive your memories to the max before you reveal the image you took. Solet’s see what it’s all about.
Jamy describes Memogram as a “time capsule in the form of tickets, accompanying our memories with textual clues.” It’s composed of a phone app and a 3D-printed device with a Bluetooth connection. It lets you attach your phone to it, open the app, and take your photos. But instead of immediately showing you your image on the screen, Memogram will print it out in the form of a written description. It looks kinda like a fiscal slip. From here on, you have to wait up to 90 days to reveal your photo in the app. You need to use the password you got on the printout.
The point of Memogram is to help us slow down and (re)discover the moments we captured. It relies heavily on the concept of film photography, as it only gives you 36 snaps from one roll of paper “film.” So, you need to really think about what you want to capture and need to be present in the moment. “These prints, whether paper or mental, contribute to (re)awaken our memory and imagination,” Jamy writes, “and to take a step back from our relationship with images.”
There are two versions of Memogram. Memigram ON is designed for Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, allowing you to attach your phone to it and take photos with a dedicated shutter button. But for any other phone, you can get Memogram OFF. It doesn’t need to be physically connected to your device, yet you’ll still get your textual prints and you can access the photos from your phone.
Although this concept looks a bit complicated at first glance, I still find it interesting and innovative. I think all of us could use more mindfulness and being present “here” and “now,” and it seems to be the main idea of Memogram. A camera like this could force us to stop and become fully aware of the photo we’re taking and the moment we want to remember… And then help us relive it as vividly as possible once we reveal the image. Anyhow, it’s definitely something I’d like to test out. If you find it interesting too, you can reserve yours on the project website.