ThrowBack is a new iPhone app that aims to make you nostalgic. But rather than invoke pleasant memories of years past, it will instead send photos from today to you at some point in the distant future, making you remember the good things that happened today.
Talking to Wired, programmer Calli Higgins talked about how the app came about from dealing with the loss of her stepbrother, and how she found an undeveloped roll of film that had photos of them. That sort of serendipity doesn’t really happen in the world of digital photography, but her app ThrowBack does do something similar.
When you take a photo with ThrowBack, it’s not saved to your phone. Rather, it’s uploaded to ThrowBack’s servers, and then emailed to you in the future. You can set a specific point to receive it, a range, or have it entirely random, from one month up to five years from now (assuming ThrowBack’s servers are still kicking then.)
This isn’t the first attempt to invoke nostalgia for digital memories, but it might be the first to do it preemptively. Services like Photojojo’s Time Capsule and TimeHop bring content from your social media past to today, so that you can see what you were up then. ThrowBack does the opposite, projecting today’s activities to you in the future.
Here’s hoping that it doesn’t come as a nasty surprise when that email arrives.