You wouldn't think that an iPad app whose main draw is to vividly remind you of your own mortality would be all that appealing. But Up Inc. and photographer Sandy Nicholson have pulled it off with "0 to 100," a slideshow of interactive portraits: one new face matched with each year of an average human lifetime. The pictures are gorgeous, the faces evocative, and the stories -- told in brief interviews and videos -- are surprisingly affecting.
Nicholson shot many more portraits than Up Inc. needed for the app, so every one of the hundred photos is a true gem -- not just for the imagery and the emotion captured in it, but also in the quotes from each portrait subject, which seem to capture the essence of their respective ages with haiku-like perfection. Here's Age 3:
And here's the other end of the spectrum. Let's hope that we're all this sage at 100:
Although, why wait? The brilliant thing about "0 to 100" is that you can flick backwards and forwards through a human lifetime and cherry-pick the best wisdom from any phase you want. The app designers have done a bang-up job with the interaction, too: you can instantly jump to milestone years like 25, 50, and 75; toggle small video clips on and off without breaking the flow; and even mix-and-match different ages together, in somewhat disturbing fashion:
The overall effect is like getting to know a hundred new, interesting people all at once. And that's the point. This app will remind anyone that age ain't nothing but a number -- it's the person that counts.