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Soonsnap

See it for real at soonsnap.com.

A simple way to exchange just-taken photos in the pub with people you don't know.

Here's the use case. You're there in the pub, Friday night, and there's a group of people squeezing themselves together behind a table while one of their number takes a photo of them. So you step up, helpful, and say "hey, let me take that, then you can be in it!" and whip your phone from your pocket and snap a picture of them all pulling faces and drinking cocktails.

Great. You've got a picture of them. How do you give that picture to the people in it?

Here are the constraints:

  • You don't know these people. This is not a surreptitious excuse to obtain the phone number of the attractive one in the group. So you can't ask for a phone number, or add them as a Facebook friend
  • You're all in the pub having fun; you're not at a computer class. You want to get this photo to them as quickly and easily as possible. So if you ask them to do anything complicated to get the photo, such as "install this app", or "turn on Bluetooth and then tell me your phone's Bluetooth name", they'll just shrug and say "whatever" and ignore you like the sad techie lunatic that you are
  • Either you or they might not have an iPhone, so no AirDrop for you
  • You're in the pub. So this is primarily for mobile. Obviously it should work on a big wide screen, but that's not what it's aimed at
  • Me, the person running the server, does not want to pay for lots of hosting, and people in the pub don't want photos of them stored forever in someone else's cloud. Images are not stored on the server; they're transferred as much as possible device-to-device

And here's the idea:

  1. You hit this website and it tells you to pick a photo
  2. It gives you a simple four-letter code and gives you instructions to read out to them: go to this website, enter the four letters of the code
  3. They do it: it gives them the photo
  4. You say "there you go", they say "thank you!", and another little human interaction is improved with technology without getting in the way

Concept and written by Stuart "@sil" Langridge; visual design by Sam "@snwh" Hewitt. Some more discursive thoughts on the design thinking that Stuart put into the way Soonsnap works are available on Stuart's weblog if you're interested.

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A simple way to exchange just-taken photos in the pub with people you don't know

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