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preFlect - Deter Photographers. Document Photos.


Have you ever had your photo taken at a time when you weren't ready, or simply didn't feel like being photographed?

What about photos taken at special events, such as a birthday party, a wedding anniversary, or a work related event?

Photograph by Justin Main on Unsplash

When you later discover the photo on social media, photo sharing sites, e-mail, or through a simple SMS message, it can be difficult and frustrating trying to remember the details about the photo - especially if it was taken weeks, months, or years ago.

preFlect helps you efficiently capture information about a photo as it is being taken, and embed it back into the photographers own photo as an additional "track" of information.

Information can include pictures of the original photographer, your own comments about the photographic event, which you can update after the photo is taken, and where and when the photo was taken.

Wherever or whoever the photograph is distributed to, this extended information will also be available to the recipient, simply by analyzing the original photograph using preFlect.

What is preFlect?

Ideally, we could capture as much event-related information about a photograph as it is being taken by a photographer, and embed this information into their photo as an alternative "track" of information.

Should we encounter their photo at a later time, we could simply analyze their photo for the additional "track" of information we added, to reveal information about the original event. This saves us the hassle of trying to recall details about the event at a later time.

preFlect allows you to do exactly this - efficiently capture information about a photo as it is being taken, and embed this information back into the photographers own photo as an additional "track" of information.

Examples of information that can be captured include pictures of the original photographer, where and when it was taken, and any additional comments you might need to add. You can even add to, edit, or remove selected details of the captured information later, when you have more spare time - potentially even years after the original photograph is taken.

Once information about the event and the photographer is embedded into their own photo, it follows this photo around should they choose to post, share or distribute it to others. At a later time, you can use preFlect to help you recall these important details about the event when a photo was taken.

How it Works

preFlect works by capturing ambient event information at the time a photograph is taken, and linking this information to a code, called a flect ID, that is displayed on your phone or tablet. The code is captured by a photographer when they take a photograph, and acts as a link to the additional "track" of information about the event. This approach means that the additional information can follow the photo wherever it goes, and additionally can be updated after the photo is taken.


preFlect is especially useful for:

  1. Documenting When your Photo is Taken - You can tag incidents where your photo is being taken.

  2. Documenting Events with Family/Friends - You can tag events with family and friends, such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, holidays and vacations.

  3. Documenting Work-related Events - You can tag work-related events, such as team meetings, conferences, customer luncheons, and corporate events.

  4. Documenting Other Events - You can tag any events with preFlect to help you remember the details at a later time.

Once you have tagged a photo with preFlect, you have the option of editing the captured photographic event information at a later time, then publishing, revoking or deleting it as you please.


preFlect is an efficient way to capture information about events where photos are taken, easing the burden of having to worry about remembering the details behind a photo at a later time.

With this said, you should also be aware of it's current limitations:

  • You Need to be Ready for the Photo - preFlect requires you to face your phone or tablet towards the photographer, and commence capturing, before a photo is taken by another person. As such preFlect is designed as efficiently as possible, so it is ready to be used to capture photo information at any time.

  • The Photographer Needs to Take a Steady Shot - preFlect assumes that the photographer is taking a steady shot of the subject(s). If their still shot is blurry, then the code captured in the photograph cannot be extracted from the original photo.

  • You'll Need to Hold your Phone or Tablet Still - preFlect assumes that you will hold your phone or tablet still while the photograph is being taken. If the flect ID displayed by your phone or tablet is blurry, then it cannot be extracted from the original photo.

  • You'll Need to Have a Google Drive Account - preFlect uses your Google Drive account to store and publish information about photographic events.

  • Glare and Ambient Light - ambient light, and light from flash photography can affect how clearly the flect ID appears in the final photograph. If the flect ID displayed by your phone is obscured by light, then it cannot be extracted from the original photo. This can be managed to some degree using a glare filter.

Getting Started

You'll need an iPhone or iPad to use preFlect with iOS version 11 or higher.

To get started using preFlect to document photographs, click here, or for an overview of the main features click here.


For an explanation of terms used in preFlect, please refer to the terminology reference.