If you’re an iPhone owner, you know one thing about the beloved Camera Roll: it can get messy. While it seeks to bring some order to the chaos with built-in dating and geotagging, it doesn’t help high-volume shooters zero in on specific content or locate their best shots from multitudes of thumbnails.
EyeEm, the global community and photography marketplace, is here to help with today’s release of The Roll, an app that uses a proprietary image recognition algorithm to classify, tag, keyword and select your best photos. In addition to its organizational function, the app also displays metadata such as aperture, ISO, geolocation and more.
When launched, The Roll examines each of your photos for content and then groups similar shots together, whether or not they were taken on the same day or in the same place (and ignoring all of those screenshots living on your phone). Then, it classifies and tags photos under broad searchable categories like Pets, Water, Fun, Cute, or a predominant color or location, placing the best shot on top. The same photos or groups can appear under different headings. Within each broad classification are smaller subgroups of similar photos of varying quality that you can choose to keep or delete in order to save room on your device or to immediately share with others.
The app’s keywording and scoring functionality are based on EyeEm Vision, the company’s server-based computer vision tech. Powered by deep learning technology, photos are assigned an Aesthetic Score from 1 to 100 percent that seeks to replicate how professional photographers and curators judge a composition.
Each photo also features a multitude of keywords, which are derived from a shot’s content and an artificial intelligence algorithm’s judgment of the photo’s mood and emotion. The algorithm can identify thousands of concepts to help you search for photos in your catalog. EyeEm assures privacy to all users and promises that all synced photos are deleted after scoring and keywording.
The app contains all the information you need to understand how it works, though there is no further analysis on why one cat picture may score 10 points more or less than another taken at the same time or place — though scrolling through each selection often makes the rational for the score more obvious. I did not necessarily agree with all of The Roll’s judgments about my images, of course, but it provides a starting point if a user is in a quandary about what to immediately share or delete.
The Roll is not the first to come up with automatic sorting and keywording: Google Photos and Flickr’s Magic View already do that. The Roll also did not move at lightning speed through my relatively small collection, which is typically filled with screenshots. Its real value is having a reliable analysis of resident images and an assist in deciding what is immediately sharable.
The Roll is offered free of charge and while it only runs on iOS 9 or later for now, an Android version is in the works.