Moju image app puts your moments in motion


Just twist and watch your Moju file come to life. Photo: Moju Labs
Just twist and watch your Moju file come to life. Photo: Moju Labs

We grew up in homes with robust photo albums, reels of 8 mm home movies and stacks of VHS tapes. These represent the branches and blossoms of our growing family trees.

In the digital age, we’ve filled out the branches, capturing millions of pictures and video clips almost out of concern we will miss something.

And we rarely look at any of it.

Mok Oh wants to change that with Moju, an iPhone app that distills the essence of a life moment by taking a sequence of photos and creating seamless motion in a file that comes to life with a simple twist of your phone.

The first version of the app appeared in the iTunes Store last year and soon, the Moju website began filling up with portraits with changing facial expressions, time-lapse clouds billowing across blue skies, virtual home tours and aspiring models preening.

A Moju capture can contain up to 24 frames to create an animated experience. Photo: Moju Labs
A Moju capture can contain up to 24 frames to create an animated experience. Photo: Moju Labs

A Moju capture handles up to 24 frames and company founder Oh, the former chief scientist for PayPal, is betting people who share pictures on various social media platforms will find it a more compelling and meaningful picture experience.

Version 2.0 appears in the iTunes Store today and offers real-time messaging and a flashback feature that shares favorite memories by using date stamps and tags to provide timely reminders of the moments of your life. For example, on your birthday, Moju Flashback will remind you of the fun you had on the same date last year.

Another iPhone app, Seene, also provides a kind of 3-D experience using a combination of pictures, motion and depth.

Oh said it’s daunting for most people to sort through all their photos and videos. We shoot, shoot, shoot so that we don’t miss anything, yet we don’t take the time to sort through the images and properly preserve what matters.

“The consumption problem hasn’t been solved yet,” Oh told Cult of Mac. “In my mind, we have a wonderful product that helps all of us consume content in a 21st-century way.”

Oh will not say how large the Moju community is but he admits it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 300 million users on Instagram. Reviews by users of the first version are mostly favorable but as Moju Labs continues to refine the product, the real work lies in making it a regular part of people’s social networks.

Moju does not hinge on special skills or talent, Oh said. A user can take a series of shots around a subject to create a sweeping panorama or can use the app to compile a montage of photos – say a collection of selfies – to create a Moju file. You have up to 24 frames but can use as little as three to make a fun file. Just move the phone back and forth.

You can apply a few filters; if you choose to share your capture, the “Post” button uploads your file to Moju servers.

Some members are creating a stir in the Moju community with creative offerings. One user, Matt Luft, seems to shoot with a steady hand, capturing sweeping clouds, a go-cart cornering on a track, an emotive Play-Do face and a springy trampoline jumper.

If you visit the Moju website, you can mouse across the images to get the Moju motion.