Five Minutes With Rodney Rice, App Creator

by Rilee Wong on October 26, 2018 in Lifestyle, Living Texas, Austin,
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Rodney Rice is the founder of Waldo Photos, a facial recognition-powered photo-sharing app.

The Waldo app is used for events, occasions and more to help deliver photos right to parents’ phones. With his app, Rice has focused on helping families easily discover all the photos taken of their children by others during memorable moments. He created Waldo after he found himself chasing down photos of his own kids.

Rodney Rice, creator of the Walado Photo app. Courtesy photo

How did you develop the idea of Waldo Photos?

The idea all started from my experience as a dad. I’d go to my daughter’s tennis matches and then chase down the photographer to get photos. Our kids would go to camp every summer, and my wife and I would spend hours clicking through thousands of camp photos every night to find the few photos of them. And I knew it wasn’t just me. Everywhere I turned, there was a situation where people were photographed and weren’t getting any photos. I created Waldo to connect the photographer to the photographed. To make it easy for people to “Live the Moment” – as we say at Waldo – but still get all the photos.

How would you explain Waldo to first time users?

It’s so easy, actually. You submit a selfie then Waldo finds and sends you all the pictures you appear in (from a Waldo-powered event or organization). Waldo centers around our secure facial recognition technology, Waldo does all the matching. Our tip is always to provide a recent selfie so that Waldo can do his thing easily. This is especially important for children, whose facial features change a lot in their early years.

What do you believe makes Waldo the success that it is?

Our partners and our people! Organizations who use our technology every day, like T Bar M Camps, Camp Balcones Springs and Bracken Christian School here in the Hill Country! These organizations use Waldo because it makes their job and life easier. And our dedicated team who work tirelessly everyday to meet the needs of our customers.

The Walado App allows users to find themselves in photos that have been taken at different events.
Courtesy photo

What would you like users to know that they might not already know?

One of the coolest things about the consumer experience is that it’s set up for family sharing. Parents who enroll in the Waldo service at their school, camp or sports league get six free invites to their child’s photostream. That means bringing Grandma and others out of “Photo Siberia” and into their child’s everyday life.

What else would you like to share?

Waldo is not only helping families Live the Moment and easily get their photos but Waldo is also making photo-sharing much more secure. We’re helping organizations take their photos out of public, unsecured galleries and put them in a password-protected gallery with access controls. In addition, our do-not-publish technology is using facial recognition to pull out any photos of children who should not be photographed or published. All these steps protect children’s and families’ privacy in ways that other photo-sharing sites just aren’t doing.