I got the idea for Kinfo after realizing that the number of relatives I had heard about far outnumbered the relatives I had ever met. Growing up, my parents would casually reference cousins, aunts, and uncles who were notable for one reason or another. I could never remember their names or which side of the family they came from, but I knew that someone was a former FBI agent and someone else lived in Paris and someone was a Professor of Mathematics. My own social world didn’t have anyone like that in it, and I wanted to know who these people were, and that I could call on them if I ever needed their expertise. I also wanted to know the history of my ancestors, but the stories and photographs were spread across many great aunts and great uncles I didn’t know. Lastly, I felt that the older I grew, the more distant my extended family seemed to me. We would get together a few times a year for holidays, and spend most of our catching-up time just reacquainting ourselves. I knew this situation was far different from the large and close-knit families that other people had.
The heart of the application is the family “hedge”, an innovative (and patent-pending!) way to explore your family, your family’s family, and so on. Here’s an example of television’s Soprano family in Kinfo:
Here’s a video of the hedge in action:
Kinfo’s main function is the sharing of family photos, which are all pooled together to create a massive collaged timeline of the entire family’s photo collection. You can browse through the collage by person, event, or year.
Here’s a video of the Photo Collage in action:
If you click on a single photo, you would get name of the event the photo was taken at and a list of the people in the photo. These events and people are hyperlinks you can use to “pivot” to view other photos of the same event or the selected person.
If you select a person, you will see their profile page, shown here.
Lastly, there’s a news page which shows all the recent activity: