TechnologyLike in Harry Potter? Deep Nostalgia: the app...

Like in Harry Potter? Deep Nostalgia: the app that brings your old photos to life


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Deep Nostalgia is an application developed by MyHeritage, with which users can bring old photos of their relatives to life. The results of the app are reminiscent of the moving photos that appeared in Harry Potter, both in the books and in the movies.


“Animate faces in your family photos with amazing technology. Experience your family history like never before!” the company says on its website. with this app we can animate an image regardless of whether it is black and white. That is, we could see what our relatives were like, but with a little movement.

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How does Deep Nostalgia work?

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MyHeritage has been licensed by photo animation technology by D-ID, a company specializing in video reconstruction using deep learning. The goal was to animate faces in historical photos and create high-quality, realistic video images.

To get started, images are fixed to have a high resolution. Since most old photos are small, blurry, or already damaged, the app uses MyHeritage Photo Repair to sharpen the image and increase its resolution. In this way, they create high-quality animations.

“Each model video consists of a fixed sequence of movements and gestures. Deep Nostalgia can very accurately apply a model video to a face in your photo, creating a short one that you can share with friends and family. The model video guides the movements in the animation so you can see your ancestors smile, blink and turn their heads”, assures MyHeritage in its question and answer section.

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Also, the app can move all the faces in the photos, but in the current version, it can only do it one by one. “You will need to create a separate animation for each face, one at a time. You can click on each face to see the animation. If you’re viewing a photo in the My Photos section of the website, you’ll be able to tell which faces have been animated by looking at the individual faces below the main photo; those with an animation appear with a play button, ”adds the company.

Likewise, the gestures that people in the images can have are chosen by the app system. “There are several possible gesture sequences that can be applied to a photo, each originating from a model video created by MyHeritage beforehand. Our system will automatically decide which sequence to apply to a specific face based on its orientation”, assured the company. However, if a user wants another sequence, he can choose it later.

The app can be used by everyone, but everything it offers can only be accessed if you have a MyHeritage subscription. “Users who have a Full subscription can animate an unlimited number of photos. Other users can create various animations for free. If you want to animate more photos, you will need a subscription. Those without a subscription will notice a MyHeritage logo watermark at the bottom right of the animated video, while those with a Full subscription will be able to produce animated photos without the logo.

Is the app secure?

The app is available on the Google Play Store and the App Store. This indicates that it has passed through the filter of both recognized stores. Nevertheless, it does not mean that the company’s databases, like any other, can be targets of cyberattacks.

Likewise, there is concern about the use of the so-called “deepfake” in terms of this type of technology. These doctored videos or images can fool even experts on the subjectso the user must be aware of the use of the biometric information that he is making.

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Despite this, the company ensures that they have thought about this type of use and that the app could not be misused by third parties. “We work very hard with MyHeritage to ensure that our technology cannot be misused or tampered with. There are a limited and designated number of ‘driver’ facial movements, so consumers cannot make their own. Also, each video is watermarked, so it’s clear where it came from. Besides that, we made sure not to include any audio or voice capabilities, which could have been used in a disrespectful way”, explained Gil Perry, co-founder of D-ID.

In addition, MyHeritage promotes proper use of the application. “This function is intended for nostalgic usethat is, to give life to dear ancestors. Our model videos do not include speech to prevent abuse, such as creating “deepfake” videos of living people. Please use this feature on your own historical photos and not on photos with living people without their permission”, he added.


Source: Elcomercio

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