After his father-in-law began to lose his conversation skills and memory during a three-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Los Altos resident Elijah Woolery set about creating a way for seniors and their families to document stories that might otherwise be forgotten.
A product designer, engineer and photographer, Woolery developed Storied, an iPad application that records and preserves life experiences by creating mini-documentaries from user-provided photos, video and audio.
The idea for Storied evolved after Woolery spent nearly six months as a participant in a runway accelerator program funded by Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and current executive chairman.
“Other apps seem tedious,” Woolery said. “This is made to be super easy to use for Alzheimer’s patients and their families.”
Woolery and his project collaborator, Rylan Peery, developed the Storied app around the intuitive touch interface of the iPad, a user-friendly method for collecting stories one or two at a time.
Although gathering stories for future generations is the primary purpose of Storied, Woolery said he hopes the app will also enable Alzheimer’s patients to rekindle lost memories as they participate in the collection and viewing process.
Woolery said his father-in-law seemed to recall more events from his past after browsing his Storied photo book.
Storied has received a positive reception, Woolery said, which helps balance the roller coaster of emotions that accompany the development of a new product.
“If you make a fantastic project, people will learn about it,” he said.
Although startup funding enabled Woolery to develop a business plan for Storied, he plans to raise additional money to launch the app. If he meets a $35,000 fundraising goal through Kickstarter – an online platform for project fundraising – the app could be ready for release through iTunes by the end of December.
The basic version of the Storied app will be free for download and can be upgraded to a premium membership for users who require more archive space, sharing features or help collecting stories. Woolery expects 40,000-50,000 users during the first year of distribution.
For more information, visit bit.ly/Storiedapp.