A thousand sorrowful songs have been written about the evanescence of memory; our memories, like time, are constantly slipping through our fingers. Our cultural obsession with photo-taking perhaps reflects our desire to crystallise these fleeting moments as our minds cannot. But if you’ve ever found that pictures are too static to truly capture a moment in all its beauty, you might like to turn to Present.
The Present app touts itself as our first social video-diary, acting as a memory bank to help us record those precious moments. Developed by a Singapore-based startup and currently in open beta testing for iOS, the app has several features which make for a seamless recording experience. Its App-Launch Recording function means that one tap to open the app is all it takes to begin recording — a feature which Present promises will “preserve the moment’s authenticity”. It also boasts a comprehensive suite of video-editing tools: you can choose, for example, to add soothing background music to your two-minute clip.
Here’s one feature of Present which I find truly remarkable: the app’s Nearby feature automatically retrieves past videos recorded near your current location. We all get particularly nostalgic when we’re revisiting a place full of fond memories; in this case, the app thoughtfully supplements your own recollections by retrieving them for you. And after you’re done recording and editing your clips, you can easily share them on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Right now, Present is still developing new features in preparation for its official launch later this year. Just yesterday, CEO and co-founder Peter Draw announced his startup’s SGD500,000 funding from prominent Singaporean investors, including James Teo, Executive Chairman of Eastgate Technology, and Bobby Lim, Executive Director of Tai Sin Electric. The funding will be put to good use by recruiting talents for Present’s development team, and enhancing its existing features.
As a social video-diary app, Present might just be the future of how we preserve our memories — from the written word, to photos, and now videos, it seems that the way we chronicle our past is only getting more dynamic and evocative. Peter reveals that the inspiration for Present came from his travels across continents through his social enterprise, which aims to empower children in devastated areas through art.
With Present, those special pockets of time in our lives can be captured in their entirety and revisited when we most need them, bringing to mind this quote: “Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.”