LOS ANGELES — The beautiful thing about photography is that it captures a moment in time, a presence, a place. But what’s missing is the sense of direction. We can certainly intuit it — a shot of the sky, for example, is quite obviously looking up. But photos are by their nature viewed out of context, and we have to map it together mentally.

Stilla, a new photography app for the iPhone, takes advantage of that fancy gyroscope in every phone and remembers the exact direction you were looking when you took the photo. If you were facing downward and to the left, it adds that data to your image. After a few images, Stilla then builds a composite, one that you can rotate and shift to mimic the same angles of the original moment.

Here’s what they had to say:

These images become facets of an interactive, three-dimensional object. It looks a bit like a crystal but feels more delicate, like a memory. It’s like holding a picture in your hand again. And when you start to turn it, the light will change and one image will blend into another.

The images are ready for sharing, with a short URL that anyone can click to view the images on a web browser.  It would be interesting to try this out with faces, pets, trees, art work. The results are quite lovely.  Check out the demo video here:

Stilla for iPhone from Maybe It’s The Lighting on Vimeo.

AX Mina (aka An Xiao Mina) is an author, artist and futures thinker who follows her curiosity. She co-produces Five and Nine, a podcast about magic, work and economic justice.