Over 7.25 million Australians have deleted or misplaced images according to research conducted by Canon.  Most Australians (76 per cent) still rely on devices to preserve their photos, an incredibly fraught storage system as anyone can tell you whose laptop has died, or has had a software updating disaster or dropped their phone in the toilet.

The national survey of 1,000 adults indicates that 66 per cent of the Australians who have lost images have done so due to the damage or failure of a physical device. Twenty-eight per cent were affected by a misplaced external storage device, 23 per cent due to a misplaced photo album and 25 per cent lost images due to theft of a camera or computer where the images were stored.

Canon’s research also looked into Australian’s attitudes toward cloud storage; only 16 per cent of Australians admit they use the cloud to protect their images, 57 per cent of all Australians claim they do not use the cloud at all, finding it “too confusing” (51 per cent ) or “too hard to understand” (24 per cent).

For retailers these figures reinforce the importance of discussing photo and data storage with customers purchasing cameras, smartphones or action cams. Consumers will thank you later for starting a discussion about how best to store their data if a technical mishap occurs or they leave their phone in a taxi.

There are a range of hardrive and cloud storage solutions available, for example the WD My Passport Wirless is an external harddrive which is supported by the WD My Cloud mobile app for iOS or Android.

Canon has launched its own cloud-based photo storage system called irista by Canon, which will enter the same space as Dropbox, Google Drive and Apple iCloud, to name but a few. Canon’s service will be geared toward photo storage with features such as Adobe Lightroom integration, which allows users to edit images in Lightroom and store them directly on the platform to maintain a single photo repository.

The irista service allows users to consolidate their image collections in a single hub and helps them search and locate a wide-range of file types (including RAW) by date, location, custom user tags, lens type and albums. Planned for update from late January 2015, the platform will become multi-device ready and compatible with a wide range of popular iOS and Android tablets.

Canon Wi-Fi enabled cameras will allow users of those cameras to select irista as a direct upload option on their camera, ensuring images are stored instantly to the platform and are accessible from all compatible devices.

Social integration with Facebook and Flickr also allows users to publish images on both platforms, as well as track social comments directly from the irista interface.

“We’re taking more photos than ever before and our photos are among our most treasured possessions, yet we’re not taking adequate precautions to keep them safer,” says Jason McLean, director – consumer imaging, Canon Australia. “The job of managing our huge photo libraries stored across multiple devices has become more complex and simply overwhelms many of us, leading to irrecoverable losses.”

“The capabilities of irista by Canon have all been designed to help Australians effectively access, manage and enjoy their growing collection of digital images in one place and keep their memories safer,” said McLean. “And, because it’s online, you can access your irista photo collection from anywhere in the world you can get an internet connection.”