Photo App Reimagine Brings Old Images to Life with AI Tools

Family history platform MyHeritage is releasing a mobile app called Reimagine that enables high-speed scanning of entire album pages to complement the company’s AI tools for restoring — and even facially animating — historical photos. Now users can easily import printed photos stored in albums by snapping page pictures on their iOS or Android device. The app will separate the individual photos, cropping and saving them as standalone images to which metadata can be added for indexing. The app also works with individual photos, or digital uploads from a camera roll.

While TechCrunch says MyHeritage used its own AI team to develop the scanning process in-house, for restoration it licensed technology from DeOldify, “created by deep learning experts Jason Antic and Dana Kelley.”

For animations, MyHeritage partnered with Israeli startup D-ID on a feature called Deep Nostalgia. Powered by AI, the patented technology generates facial animations for old photos, bringing them to life.

“The tech touched the hearts of many who had lost family members or never got to know family who had died before they were born” and Deep Nostalgia went viral on TikTok upon its debut in 2021, according to TechCrunch, which says “later, MyHeritage expanded on Deep Nostalgia to allow users to also add narration to their animated photos, so the people in them could actually speak and tell their stories.”

Reimagine expands the tool kit for editing and enhancing old images. “Photos are a significant gateway to the exciting world of family history, and as our suite of photo tools has expanded, we decided to develop Reimagine, a dedicated app for family photos that encourages new audiences to capture their family memories and bring them to life,” MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet said in an announcement.

The company’s color restoration feature “is designed to be used to restore the colors of photos from the ’50s and ’60s that were originally taken in color but faded over the years,” TechCrunch explains. “The technique, developed by DeOldify, uses machine learning algorithms that pay particular attention to detail and were trained across millions of real photos.”

Adobe Photoshop has long offered automated color correction, introducing a specific restoration filter in 2022. This year it released the Firefly suite of generative AI tools.

“The new Reimagine app is free to download and use but monetizes via weekly and monthly subscriptions that unlock unlimited access to photo scanning, colorization, enhancement, and other features,” says TechCrunch, noting “the monthly subscription is $7.99 or you can pay for a year upfront for $49.99.”

How to Use AI to Edit and Generate Stunning Photos, The New York Times, 6/2/23
AI Images Are Outperforming Photos on Adobe Stock, PetaPixal, 6/6/23

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