We had a chance to speak to
Nathan Adam Rzeppa
love & nate
Could you share a challenging factor of the development or marketing process?
The reminders were very finicky as was dealing with the fact that every phone has a different camera and RAM capability. With all the different screen resolutions it was also challenging finding the correct size silhouette for the facial outline which puts the users face in the correct position. On one phone it would be great and then testing on another would be totally different. I wanted the experience on iPhone and Android to also be extremely similar to one another so users switching between the two would be able to seamlessly transition into a familiar world.
Do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms as well?
I think it's only fitting with "Time" being such a theme with this app that I get MyLapse going on various smart watches. It's going to happen but I can't give a date at this time.
If you could describe your app in ONE word, what would it be and why?
Valuable. I took a MyLapse with every family member of mine over Christmas this past year. It wasn't until I actually went through this exercise myself that I realized how incredible it will be down the road to have this digital time capsule of the people I care about so much in my life.
Were there any unexpected surprises post-release of your app?
Yes! I had a dentist send me a MyLapse showing me how her patients are using the app to track their teeth progression with braces, I've had builders show me how they used the app to track construction progress, and I even had one of my friend send me a MyLapse that transitions about 15 different nipples incredibly fast while letting me know they belong to 8 different people and a dog. So... needless to say, new ways are being made up every day on how to apply this to different scenarios.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
I have a gorgeous cat in the bag but I can't let him out right now.
I will give a clue though. I like photos... but I like music and I like video too. I think we could all get along just fine in the future in a really new and unseen way. That's as much as I can say for now, but I've already experimented and the results are pretty stunning. It's just a matter of how to make this easily executable and as simplistic as the current MyLapse version is. It will happen, but it needs to be perfect first.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
The reminder/notification system is something I'm proud of. I find the simplicity of the process to be very important to the goal of this app. I wanted this to be an app that you didn't sit in all day, but rather an app that you used to capture and enjoy real life... the life outside of the phone. Once a reminder goes off to take your daily photo, it's a 2 click process until your new photo is added to your existing MyLapse. In 3 seconds a day you can build a file with friends and loved ones while not sacrificing any real time with them in the physical world. This was really important to me since we often are locked into our phones and silently sitting in a room together or not talking at dinner. I had to find a way to get people back to celebrating people with the device only serving as a tool to make that part better, not as a black hole that took away dialogue and interaction.
What is your favorite mobile app to date and which have inspired you?
I love Afterlight, I think it's a great photography app and although I was hesitant to ever consider a phone a true camera, all that really matters is the output. It doesn't matter if you are using a tripod and a $5,000 DSLR or an iPhone 4... what matters is the creation of a beautiful photo and I think Afterlight hits a homerun with it's interface and processing capability.
Aging Booth and Stachetastic, although silly, inspired me many years ago probably without me even knowing it. There was something engaging about putting a mustache on your friend and sending it to them, or turning your girlfriend into an old woman and seeing her reaction... and the interface focused on the face of an individual in a self-portrait front facing angle. I like Hipstamatic and QuadCam also, both photo apps as well that aim and achieve something totally different than MyLapse.
What was your main objective or motivation for creating your mobile app?
There were two main motivations. My cousin Brooke had twins a few years back and her sister Dana, just had a beautiful baby girl. I don't get to see them much and whenever I do see them through photos spread out throughout the year or a few times in person, they have grown so much it's incredible. The pictures are great, but they miss the in-between, they miss the detail of the growth, and in turn so do I being out of state. I was thinking about how cool it would be for a Mother and child to take a daily photo together that over time animates and shows that relationship growing as the child themselves is physically growing, all in one animated file with one button press a day. That was the start of it all.
Secondly, I found it somewhat disheartening watching people try to take multiple selfies, only to either delete them and try again because they didn't like the way they looked... while others captured a photo they liked of themselves but felt too embarrassed to post it to social media because it was considered "narcissistic" or "corny". Something was missing. The way I see it, the self-portrait has been around forever, technology now just allows us to accomplish this single handed from the palm of our hand. It's not lame, it's evolved.... but I felt like maybe it was time to take it a step further. Instead of capturing a moment in time on an individual, I wanted to capture time itself and the beauty it has on all of us as we progress through life. We aren't going to beauty queen or a rock star every single day, but that's okay, that's acceptable! The aggregate of all these different days, these highs and lows, is what makes us, us. I thought MyLapse was the perfect way to celebrate the totality of time instead of just one snap shot we tried to take 15 times until we felt we looked good enough to share with the world.
You can view MyLapse here