It’s no secret that photographers and videographers require lots of digital storage space. It’s also no secret that we can be pretty slack on organising these spaces – it’s not uncommon for a portfolio to be spread over a number of different cloud services, social networks and hard drive.
Enter Pholio, a new storage system developed by London-based start-up Pimloc. It’s got a slightly complex proposition, but it seems like an interesting idea once you’ve unpacked it.
Pholio: So, what is it?
Pholio is a connected storage box, about the size of a book. It’s intended for you to store all of your media in one place, however what separates it from a standard hard drive is an intelligent searching algorithm, with which you can scour through the tens of thousands of photos you have scattered across various devices.
The search technology was trained in a lab, shown millions of images to improve its recognition capabilities and pre-programmed with 20,000 search terms. The deep-learning algorithms will respond to the user, and the makers promise that every user’s box will develop uniquely in accordance to how it’s used. So it’ll get better at finding the kinds of things you typically search for.
You have the option of either saving full-res files onto Pholio, or 3-4MB Pholio-optimised versions if you need the space, The standard box stores 500GB, with a Pro version available that takes 2TB.
The photo world is still crying out for better storage solutions – experts have warned that devastating data losses may result if people continue to have a lax attitude towards backing up and cataloguing images and data. (This is also a minor plot point in Blade Runner 2049, which isn’t relevant, but the film is really good and you should go see it.)
Pholio is of course, still a digital device and still therefore subject to the drawbacks of other digital storage media. The release material draws a lot of comparisons to physical photo albums (as indeed does the name), but some photo albums have lasted more than a century. Will Pholio? We’re yet to be convinced.
Pholio is taking pre-orders now, with boxes priced from £199. Will you be buying one?