Many recent multimedia projects have tried to present a "then and now" look at different cities by mashing up current images of buildings and streetscapes with historical visuals like old film footage, 18th-century paintings, or classic album covers. Now, an app called Pivot wants to do the same but in real time, offering an instant time portal right as you're walking down the street. Pivot, developed by Boston-based couple Asma Jaber and Sami Jitan, prompts you to raise your phone when you're at a "pivot" point—and that's when you'll see images and videos of what that place looked like from decades or centuries ago.
As profiled in Wired recently, Pivot aims to become a platform for digital historical preservation. Jaber, who enjoyed hearing about her ancestral land of Palestine from her father (who unfortunately passed away in 2012, bringing all his stories with him), wants to help preserve and share cultures and histories that are at the risk of being lost. According to Wired, Jaber has also been hearing from people in Italy, Australia, Indonesia, and the U.S. who are "interested in preserving their homes' history."
The app plans to draw from open-source archives and crowd-sourced multimedia, which will "tied to a specific GPS coordinate and vetted for accuracy." Pivot, which won an entrepreneurship contest at the Harvard Innovation Lab last year, is now fundraising on Kickstarter for help in refining development on the app. Though the campaign ends this Saturday, it has already crossed the goal of $30K. As Co.Exist reports, now the plan is launch with "pivot points" in the West Bank and Boston first, before moving onto tourist destinations like Paris and Rome, as well as Iraq, Syria, and other regions "in danger of losing their history."
Check out a few demo shots below and the project site here.