Legacy Republic’s mission is to save family memories. Our parent company, YesVideo, has been digitizing home videos and photos for the past 15 years, and last year we launched our social selling division, empowering hundreds of “Legacy Maker” consultants to assist their communities with their family memories.

We were looking for a way to help families share the rest of their memories, which were archived in old albums and scrapbooks. We learned that these albums and scrapbooks had been carefully curated and assembled, and customers hesitated to part with them or have technicians handle their delicate pages. We needed to provide a solution that was both safe and flexible, to fit our consultants’ busy on-the-go lifestyles.

Studio by Legacy Republic allows Legacy Makers to perform the the world’s highest quality “no touch” digitization and preservation on-site and on-demand, requiring only our special portable hardware and their iPhone. With Studio, generations may enjoy and share their family history right away!

What it does

Studio is a portable album scanner that creates the world’s highest quality archival scan of each album and scrapbook page -- all without removing or disturbing any pages or photos, which often ruins those images.

Patent-pending Studio technology (USPTO application number: US 14/791,087) removes shadows and other artifacts caused by textured paper and deteriorating protective plastic sheets that are usually found on aging photo albums and scrapbooks. It’s absolutely critical for maximum preservation that any protective sheets and photos not be disturbed for digitizing, but it was a huge technological challenge to capture high quality digital images in this environment.

Scans are stitched together into an eBook to preserve and recreate the family album for the new generations.

Studio comes self-contained in an attractive case. It is lightweight and portable. You can quickly set it up in a matter of minutes. It is adjustable to accommodate small to large albums (up to a 14”x14” album). It features a 3D laser scanner and 8 self-adjusting LED lights that is controlled by the accompanying iOS app.

Studio leverages the iPhone 6S technology to develop our patent-pending technology. Studio scans the album with a 3D laser and then creating a 3D model so that the pages can be virtually flattened. In addition, it captures 8 images at 12 megapixels for 96 megapixels of scan data that is fused with the 3D model of the pages via proprietary algorithms to create a final 20-megapixel archival image.

The Studio App publishes the archived photo album onto a USB flash drive and uploads to private cloud account. From there, customers can view within the Family Legacy app, share via email or on Facebook, or add these memories to their FamilySearch account.

How we built it

Our CTO, Andy Choi built the first prototype in his garage using common home improvement materials and a raspberry pi. He started with the premise to solve the photo album scanning challenges using software instead of mechanical devices. Experimenting with numerous lighting setups, Andy found one that would accommodate the most common size photo albums. Having created the physical boundaries, he turned to building the iOS app that would control the scanning and lighting system.

Andy then developed our proprietary image processor to merge the 8 images captured by the iPhone. Again he experimented with numerous algorithms to obtain the best possible scan.

Challenges we ran into

  1. Custom building all parts from scratch has the benefit of flexibility and the freedom to build anything. Unfortunately, it comes with the drawback of increased complexity when troubleshooting both the hardware and the software.

  2. It was also challenging to source the vendors for all the different elements, while keeping the price of each unit down. The Studio case consists of plastic blow mold, custom sheet metal, computer, circuit boards, 3D laser, servos, LED lights, wiring, power adapter remote, adjustable legs, and blackout cover.

Accomplishments that we’re proud of

We are proud to be able to improve the album scanning technology by creating digital images at a much higher quality than what is available at the consumer and prosumer marketplace. All with costing and using no more than their personal iPhone...

With Studio, we are enabling our Legacy Maker consultants to help families preserve and share treasured memories for generations to come.

What we learned

Custom hardware adds layers of complexity to the software development process, since both the hardware and software need to be designed and developed concurrently.

What's next for Studio by Legacy Republic

We are so excited to launch Studio to our network of independent Legacy Maker consultants. Upcoming versions will include:

  • Fine-tuning our image processor to support a wider variety of special album conditions
  • Adding the ability to order a physical photobook copy of the photo album
  • Allowing users to select specific images and create new albums and other custom memories

How it works

Our mobile app works in conjunction with our custom Studio hardware, and we welcome the opportunity to give you a live demonstration. Until then, please review these instruction guides: Quick Setup Guide and Scanning Guide

Built With

  • 3d-scan
  • and-3d-scanning-laser-with-a-special-lens
  • bluetooth
  • buildroot
  • custom-engineered-hardware-&-electronics-including-the-blow-molded-plastic
  • high-cri-leds
  • ios
  • laser-cut-and-machined-aluminum
  • linux
  • metal-gpu-framework
  • mounted-on-a-servo
  • raspberry-pi
  • servo
  • swift
  • wifi
  • xcode
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