I first learned about Artkive last week at an event here in LA, put on by Technori and designed to show off some of the best startup ideas in the City of Angels. The company has been around for quite a while, and has picked up a whole lot of buzz from mom bloggers and the parenting industry (which explains why I'm so late on it: I don't have kids and don't plan to any time soon). But I have to admit, after watching the presentation at Technori, that Artkive is a really impressive app, with a lot of potential going forward.
The basic idea with the app, as you might have guessed from the name, is that it's designed to work as an "art archive" of your children's work. All parents get plenty of artwork from their kids as they grow up, be those macaroni sculptures, finger paintings or just roughly scribbled-on coloring books, and sometimes that art goes on the fridge or into a box at the bottom of the closet. But Artkive's goal is to keep it saved away digitally, available to either be shared with others via social networks, or eventually printed off into a keepsake book or on other items.
The app is as simple as it gets -- you simply use the iPhone's camera to take a picture of your kid's art, you can tag it with some relevant information like their age or where it was done, and then you have a quickly growing archive of all of their work. Artkive's representatives at the Technori pitch pointed out that while the app has been smoothed over through its various versions and iterations, it's far from done. Not only do they have lots of opportunities in terms of licensing and item sales (one company has even approached them to try and make a set of Artkive-branded creative tools like a paint easel or a crayon set), but what they'd like to do eventually is turn the app into an archive of everything your kid does including art, which would mean pictures as they grow, any special awards or commendations, or anything else you'd like to save from your child's childhood.
That's a pretty big idea -- for now, Artkive is obviously focused on just keeping the art safe. This is definitely a solid app, and if your child is at that age where every other day they're bringing home something creative, this might be the perfect way to track and store exactly that they've done. Artkive is a free download, available right now from the App Store.