Impala app will try and organize your iPhone photos by subject


posted Monday, November 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM EST


If you're anything like me, your iPhone's Camera Roll is a thousands long set of wildly different images, which are more or less impossible to sort through. But a new app called Impala will try and improve that, by trawling through your saved photos, and organizing them by what it thinks your subjects are.

Unlike some other attempts at photo organization, Impala runs entirely on your phone, without any need for storage or computation in the cloud. It'll create the following albums on your phone, and then attempt to classify each and every one of your images into the right place:

  • Architecture
  • Babies
  • Beaches
  • Cars
  • Cats
  • Children
  • Food
  • Friends
  • Indoor
  • Men
  • Mountains
  • Outdoor
  • Party life
  • Sunsets and sunrises
  • Text
  • Women

The app is made by a company called Euvision, and uses a technology called visual concept detection. As the company describes it:

Impala can be trained to recognize anything, for instance cars. This is realized by feeding Impala thousands of examples of pictures of cars. The software then generalizes over what it ‘sees’. Impala will then recognize a car whether it is in shadow or not, whether the sky is blue or cloudy, or whether the image is recorded from the left or from the right, whether the car is blue or red or black, or whether it is an old timer or brand new model.

According to TechCrunch, the app version is a significantly scaled down version of the technology, which Euvision licenses elsewhere. The app had to be squeezed down to meet the size and memory constraints of an iPhone app, compared to its usual, server side application — which is apparently far more capable. But even so, it'll tackle your immense camera roll, and try and figure out what each and every image is.

While the app itself is relatively spartan, it's still a better organization system than just trying to find that one beach photo you took two years ago by scrolling through endless pages of your saved photos.