Atlas Informatics’ search service acts like digital photographic memory and enables people to search for documents, messages and other digital items they encounter in their computer use.
Atlas Recall knows exactly what document you were writing while you were also browsing for your next vacation. The new search service, developed by a Seattle startup, can look for anything in your digital archive and help you find documents and messages in a snap.
Atlas Informatics has raised more than $20 million from investors for the search tool, which categorizes every digital item you click on or interact with. The tool lets you search everything in your digital memory that you’ve interacted with on a desktop, which you can then pull up on a computer or smartphone.
Atlas Recall is sort of like a photographic memory, said company founder Jordan Ritter, a serial entrepreneur perhaps best known for co-founding music-streaming site Napster.
What: Atlas Recall, an app that searches your digital memory
Who can get it: Anyone with a Mac or iPhone; Windows version being developed.
How to get it: Download it at www.atlas.co
Cost: Free for basic version
Atlas Informatics was formed out of Ivy Softworks, Ritter’s first project in Seattle. As an “innovation studio,” Ivy set out to develop and spin off startups using an in-house team of engineers and designers.
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In the end, most of the Ivy team projects were in the same vein. So they were rolled together to launch Atlas Informatics last year. The company has raised $20.7 million from investors, including Microsoft, Intellectual Ventures’ Nathan Myhrvold and Aspect Ventures.
Atlas operates like a digital memory — a memory you can search at will and which categorizes things with photos, time stamps and locations.
“The problem we’re trying to solve is digital chaos,” Ritter said. “We are used to searching, saving and creating digital trails across several different devices every day, and current search tools are fractured,” he said.
Using Spotlight on a Mac will search your computer files, but won’t find things kept in a Google Drive or in a browser history. Atlas Recall searches all of that plus Slack messages, Gchats, emails — pretty much anything you have looked at on an electronic device.
For now, Atlas works only on Macs and iPhones, but a Windows version will be released soon. Atlas finds anything on your computer — and the results will show up on an iPhone, but the product does not yet capture your iPhone searches.
The product is free for a basic version. Eventually, Atlas will add paid additional features.
Atlas’ app feed will show your most recent documents, and the technology can also be integrated into Google to show up next to your results using a browser plug in.
It categorizes by time, but also by where you were when you examined a document, and what else you had up at the same time. The results show up as thumbnail pictures, aiming to jog the memory.
Atlas, based in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, has hired a couple of cognitive scientists to better understand how the human memory works.
The 34-employee company has been testing Atlas Recall with early customers for months, and opened the service to everyone this week. The technology works by integrating with the operating system rather than with each individual application, meaning it can work with any app.
The Atlas team said it has built in extensive privacy features that ensure customers are the only ones who can view their own data.