Create Your Own Visual Timeline With Lightt iPhone App
By Michael Muchmore
ARTICLE DATE : October 17, 2012
Here at PCMag, we get multiple pitches for new mobile apps every day. Most fall into tried-and-true categories—another recipe app, or another twist on a game category. But every once in a while, we’ll see one that stands out as original and compelling.
Lightt is such an app. It lets you create a visual timeline that you can share publicly or with chosen contacts, who can access your entire stream from the cloud at any time. The free app is available on the iTunes App Store starting today, but an invitation is required. You can get one by heading to lightt.com.
You could think of Lightt as an Instagram for video, though that’s not totally accurate, since the video isn’t enhanced, and in fact, isn’t even actually video: Lightt has you take a quick series of stills and plays them back in sequence, for a flipbook effect. The updated Color app serves a similar function, but unlike its discrete, unedited 60-second posts, Lightt produces a skimmable record stringing all your posts together. Lightt also dispenses with audio where Color includes it.
Here’s how it works: You tap Lightt’s camera icon on your iPhone, creating what’s called “highlights” (just one “t” this time). Once you decide whether you want the capture to be public or just visible to friends, it’s uploaded to the cloud and added to a continuous stream of your highlights. Other users can subscribe to your life-stream to see what you’ve been up to by looking at your “channel.”
Lightt also includes its own social features instead of just relying on Facebook. You could think of it as an animated version of your Facebook Timeline. Its social component allows commenting, favoriting with hearts, and the kind of friend-of-friend exploration that’s so addictive to Instagram users.
As with Twitter, you can “follow” anyone on Lightt who’s made a public profile, and the consequences for this could be pretty far-reaching: Imagine all the Justin Bieber fans being privy to regular video life highlights of their idol. The same goes for any other celebrities or public figures who care to create a Lightt channel.
PCMag sat down with Lightt CEO and co-founder Alex Mostoufi recently for a preview of the new app/service. “Lightt is a forever visual stream of my life,” said the sage-like Mostoufi. “Life is a continuum, so why should it end after you take [the video]? Imagine if I could show you every single birthday you and your friends had, right now, in dynamic motion pictures. It’s never been done before.”
Mostoufi also noted that Lightt is not just an app, but also an infrastructure that allows quick download and swiping through contacts’ visual histories, all the way from the start. But taking its front end and back end pieces as a whole, it’s about creating a new communication medium. “We’re really about the medium we’re creating,” said Mostoufi. “It’s a very powerful medium from a communication standpoint. And we’re already seeing the effects of it from testing this for over a year.”
For now, Lightt is iPhone-only, and company reps wouldn’t tell me what other platforms might be in the works. For more information and to try it out for yourself, head to the App Store or Lightt’s own website. And look for a full review on PCMag soon.
For more from Michael, follow him on Twitter @mikemuch.