MyHeritage is helping people make old photos move and smile through an app and website. Now you can get a glance of what your forefathers were like using a tool called “Deep Nostalgia.”
There is an app to make old photos move
It is a genealogy website that uses artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to animate still photos of people. The Deep Nostalgia technology was released as a feature on the website on February 25. The website has gone viral with over 10 million photos uploaded in approximately two weeks.
The results display on your smartphone or computer screen within a few seconds. It shows your ancestors from old photos moving their heads and even smiling at you. The tool offers 10 animation options and each one has a bit different gestures programmed into it.
“You’ll have a ‘wow moment’ when you see a treasured family photo come to life with Deep Nostalgia,” Gilad Japhet, the founder, and CEO of MyHeritage said. “Seeing our beloved ancestors’ faces come to life in a video simulation lets us imagine how they might have been in reality. And it provides a profound new way of connecting to our family history.”
A company, D-ID collaborated in the development of Deep Nostalgia. It specializes in video remaking using an AI technique called deep learning.
According to MyHeritage, the technology uses “driver videos,” in which a real person (MyHeritage employee) moves their head and eyes, blink, and smile. The final outcome, the company said, will produce “a realistic depiction of how a person could have moved and looked if they were captured on video.”
MyHeritage PR director, Rafi Mendelson said the combination of different technologies are all happening within a few seconds when users upload the image.
“I think the response that we’ve seen on social media is exactly as we intended for the future to be, to be one of discovery, one of interest and excitement about history and our family history,” said Mendelson.
The company has shown examples with influential personalities like Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart and Charles Darwin.
However, users may get different results depending on the video, angle and accessories on the face, as explained by MyHeritage.
MyHeritage acknowledged some people like the Deep Nostalgia feature and called it magical. But others find it creepy and do not like it. It aims to bring the feature for nostalgic use and see ancestors come back to life.
Those who love the app started uploading animated results of old family pictures, celebrity photos, artworks and illustrations on Twitter. Users who have subscribed to the MyHeritage website can animate an unlimited number of pictures. But eventually other users will have to sign up to continue using the feature.
The company wrote this on their website:
“Please use this feature on your own historical photos and not on photos featuring living people without their permission.”
Download links to MyHeritage app
How to make your old photos move and smile
In order to make your photos move, smile or animate – you’ll need to download the app from your desired App Store via links aforementioned.
- First you need to sign up yourself for free
- Sign up yourself to see the homepage
- Tap photos on homepage
- Click on + button and add a photo from your pictures gallery
- Finally click on Animate feature button on top and wait to witness the magic
- Tap the arrow icon in the top right-hand corner to save your animation
— Sheeraz Raza (@SheerazRaza) March 7, 2021