Have you ever traveled to a city and wondered what it looked like in the past? Wonder no more, because PIVOT, an app created by engaged couple Asma Jaber and Sami Jitan, will take you back in time, allowing you to see historical photos of various cities around the world on your smartphone.
PIVOT will send you a notification whenever you are near an area that you can see a photo of from the past. Raising your device up to see the surrounding area will render a historical image of your location.
Jaber and Jitan began developing the app in the spring of last year. The team at PIVOT won Harvard Innovation Lab’s Dean’s Cultural Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2014.
The idea for PIVOT came from Jaber’s interest in preserving her father’s memories. Jaber’s father lived in Nazareth before moving to South Carolina in 1971. He would tell Jaber stories about the city and took her to see the places he remembered from his childhood. When he died, Jaber felt as if she lost a piece of her family’s history. Jaber told WIRED that she “wanted to create a way to let people see what [her] father’s village looked like in the past.” Jitan joined in on the project after taking an interest in Jaber’s stories and the photos she shared with him, and together looking for a way to travel back in time.
PIVOT is initially working with online archives to find historical photos, but the team plans to bring crowd-sourcing, or, as the founders call it, “shoe-box archiving,” to the app, allowing the community to upload their own historical photos to contribute to the cultural experience. The crowd-sourced photos will be linked to a GPS coordinate and checked to make sure the image matches the location.
With three days left on their Kickstarter campaign, the PIVOT team have already surpassed their $30,000 goal! They plan to use the money to add augmented reality and a virtual tour feature to the app.
The app will be available for both iPhone and Android with historical images for Palestine and Boston in the fall. People in Australia, Italy, Indonesia and other US cities have already expressed interest in contributing to the app’s crowd-sourced images.