UCSB alumnus Omri Cohen has created a web startup called Capsule, designed to enhance the event-planning and photo-sharing experience by connecting attendees in a private manner.

After a year filled with events like weddings and bachelor parties, with no simple way of sharing the memories surrounding them, Cohen and his friend Cyrus Farudi, the website’s CEO and co-founder, decided to take matters into their own hands. Capsule, which launched a few weeks ago, allows users to plan an event, invite others, upload pictures from the event directly to the event’s “capsule” and archive them for years.

Cohen graduated from UCSB in 2004 with a degree in computer engineering and said Capsule provides a unique intimacy surrounding events, since only those invited can initially look at the photos, and users can add or invite people to see the album after the event.

“This past year was kind of crazy for us,” Cohen said. “There were 14 weddings and bachelor parties and no easy or good way to communicate all the photos and share the media from these experiences, so we decided to make our own event-planning and photo-sharing tool.”

Capsule provides an app called Capsule Cam, which allows attendees to add photos to an album in real time. In addition, each capsule is assigned its own cell phone number and email, and members can send each other text messages.

The Facebook photo sharing method is currently the most common, but it is inconvenient for events and groups as everything is based around the individual, Farudi said.

“After a party or event, you have to wait on everyone to upload their photos, and then they go through and tag all the people in the photo, and then there’s always the chance of having your mom or family seeing those photos you don’t want them to see,” Farudi said. “With Capsule and Capsule Cam, you can add photos to the album as the event is going on, only the people at the event see the photos unless you decide to invite others and then if there are a few photos you really like, you can actually just add them to Facebook through Capsule.”

Third-year chemistry major Nick Johnson said Capsule’s sense of privacy appeals to the college students with family members on social networking sites.

“It’s nice keeping in touch with family on Facebook, but I don’t want my grandma or mom seeing pictures of me or my friends on weekends, and you never really know what photos are going to get put up,” Johnson said. “I like the idea of only people who were there seeing photos unless I invite them to see them later.”

Cohen said Capsule’s platform is based on sharing experiences and memories.

“It’s a good way to put together an event, upload your road trip or party pictures and share the content with the people who were actually there,” Cohen said. “Each capsule is kind of its own little social network with photos, conversation and media sharing; you can relive and look back on events in a much more intimate setting.”

Farudi said while he has numerous photos from his time at University of Colorado Boulder, they remain poorly organized.

“I’m nearly 10 years out of college, so sometimes when looking back and remembering it’s kind of a blur,” Farudi said. “It would have been nice to have them kept separate as distinct events and to have the really special ones stand out.”

A pilot version of the application can be tested at www.trycapsule.com.