From ‘Me too’ to ‘Me first’ to ‘Me best’

Dinamalar is the third largest Tamil daily newspaper by circulation (Over 900,000), printed from  across 10 cities. With over 100 photographers spread across the country, they had a robust  capability to supplement news with images. To sustain their competitive edge in a cut throat market, they created an exclusive, secure portal for photographers to upload their images. But, in the age of the mobile and ‘breaking news’ it was not enough.

The Situation

The client had an outmoded process of managing service requests

  • Photographers have to connect to computer to transfer the pictures.
  • Images download & upload to central server took lot of time.
  • Editing teams has to spend time in picking the images & polishing them.
  • Whole process was taking good 45 minutes.
  • Just too slow in the age of instant news.
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Digging deeper

Mobile phones deal with photos of much smaller sizes compared to DSLR cameras. How to compress the photos as you would sync from camera to phone without losing clarity? How to convert the raw files into print ready format, quickly? How can the app run in the background while images are being uploaded without affecting the performance of other apps? These were just some of the challenges we faced.

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Behind the Scenes

  • We literally took a deep dive into technology to solve the puzzle.
  • We sourced libraries for cameras and libraries for image conversion.
  • We built the SDK for camera’s integration with the mobile.
  • We rode on Amazon S3 for cloud storage. Then all the three strands were stitched together to perfection with native Android app as its drape.
  • After 1,000 person hours of development and testing spread over 3 months, it was launched to a group of photographers across several cities.

We implemented the following solution after our brainstorming session with Dinamalar, simple solution but complex enough in practice

  • Native android application
  • Integration with camera driver to pull the pics from camera directly
  • Image compression with loss of quality to improve upload time
  • Background process to upload the pictures to enable users to use mobile for other purpose

The Impact

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