Long Island College Grads Launch Anniversary App

From left: Ken Wallach and Ben Klein

A Long Island-based start-up tech company launched Friday a new iPhone application called Anniversary that lets users schedule times to send digitally gift-wrapped photos and videos to their contacts.

Anniversary is available for free downloads from the iTunes app store, according to Ken Wallach, a Herricks High School alumnus, and his business partner, Ben Klein, who co-founded the New Hyde Park-based company. The app also works with iPad and iPod touch.

“Although the word anniversary is often used to describe the length of a relationship, we believe that an anniversary should celebrate the length of time of any significant memory,” Klein said when asked what inspired the app.

Anniversary, which connects to other users who have the app by linking to Facebook, is a cross between Snapchat and Instagram, but with its own twist. Unlike photo-focused social media tools like Instagram, the Anniversary app allows users to send pictures and videos directly to friends and family who also have the app instead of posting them online. And unlike the popular Snapchat app, pictures or videos send via Anniversary do not disappear within three seconds, allowing users to savor the moment.

Anniversary users send each other either a picture or video at a time of the user’s choice—immediately, within a day, a week a month or randomly by clicking “Surprise Me.” Every pic or vid sent is referred to as a “present” that recipients then “unwrap.” Users tagged in the “present” can then comment to each other about the memorable moments they shared.

Wallach and Klein, two childhood summer camp buddies, came up the idea while they were studying at the University of Delaware. Wallach was remembering his prom and wanted to send a picture to those he was with to revive that old memory. That’s when the idea for Anniversary sparked.

“We went to a local coffee shop with a pen and paper and began to sketch what we wanted the app to look like,” Klein recalled. “After several months, we agreed on sketches and decided to enter The University of Delaware’s Hen Hatch business competition.”

The contest, available to University of Delaware students and alumni, awards the winners with about $50,000. Wallach and Klein’s idea won out over 50 other proposals, providing the initial networking and financial support needed to start their company.

“We began working full time on this app right after graduation,” Klein said.

The app is sure to com in handy for those that have a hard time remembering important dates, those wishing to reminisce with loved ones about old times and anyone who never wants to forget the anniversary of favorite moments.

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