ThrowBack, an iOS Time-Capsule App

throwback app

The trouble with digital pictures nowadays is we are so flooded with them, and after viewed once, get put away. Knowing that they are just there, instantly accessible, has bred an attitude of complacency with regards to archiving these images properly. A lot of these photos remain unviewed for years, as they sit in the repository of our files, the storage drives. Rediscovering a picture or two is always a pleasant surprise, and a single image can bring back some of the fondest memories of occasions and celebrations from many years ago. Now you can create nostalgia for the future, in the present. A new app called ThrowBack enables you to snap pictures and receive them at a random or predetermined date in the future.

throwback app screenshot

This app consists of taking a photo, storing it in a server, and scheduling a random or specific time in the future to receive it via email. The server storage achieves one important element, which is to make each picture, a never before seen image.  A picture in your storage drives or uploaded in social media isn’t much of a novelty. Scheduling the date of receipt via email can range from one month, to five years in the future.

screenshot of throwback ios app

“Nostalgia is a potion that grows weaker with every sip,” says Calli Higgins, referring to the element of “never before seen,” envisioned for each of these time capsule photos. Calli, a New York based programmer began creating Throwback in 2011. The idea to make such an app occurred to her while enrolled in her master’s degree at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

people toasting

She was immersed in the deep connection between photography and nostalgia. She also came to know that memories are not always faithful records of an experience, as we tend to filter and alter them whenever they are remembered. “I kind of hypothesized that the memories you are recreating [with ThrowBack] are a more accurate version,” says Calli. The iPhone app was released last February, with an Android version coming soon.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.