My mom, ever the scrapbook aficionado, has documented every birthday, Halloween, dance performance, first bike ride and baby eats dirt moment me and my brothers have endured since I can remember. She hand-scanned every last one of those hundreds of pictures a few years back and then organized them into neat little labeled folders on her own PC.
It took me eons to convince her to put it all in Dropbox. It’s finally all there, but it looks like this:
My brothers and me.
As you can see the technology has been somewhat limiting for her to do this in a way that is easy and efficient.
Heirloom is a new smartphone app that hopes to change that. You snap a picture of your old photos and the app uploads it into a private social network in the cloud that allows you to then share the pictures with your friends and family. Trunx is somewhat of a similar idea with the organizing and sharing of photos, but the hook with Heirloom is the scanning.
It’s also a family business. Brothers Eric and Evan Owski came up with the idea after Eric’s wife complained that there weren’t any good scrapbooking apps for moms. Evan, a former programmer at TuneIn, worked on the code. Eric is Heirloom CEO and handles the marketing end of things.
“Throwback Thursday is now a weekly ritual across the web. We believe that speaks to the human desire to relive treasured moments from our past,” says Eric. “Yet for many, the process of capturing old prints is clumsy and doesn’t result in high quality digital images.”
If you are me, you scratch your head and start asking them how that is different from simply taking a picture with your iPhone camera and then sending it to the already created family photo album folder in Dropbox.
“When you take a picture of a photo, you have to spend a lot of time lining up the edges and cropping if you want a decent scan,” explains Evan. “Our app can take a scan even if the photo is rotated or skewed. It will automatically find the edges, correct the perspective, and do a bit of color correction,” he tells me.
Throwback Thursday is a social media phenom, though the brothers maintain that you may not always want to share those precious moments of your chubby former 13 year old self with the world. So Heirloom incorporates a more intimate network made just for loved ones.
My mom on her wedding day. Great Grandma Davidson is right next to her.
Tencent and and a group of angel investors led by Eduardo Vivas (COO at Bright, Eric’s previous employer) have given Evan and Eric $1 million in seed to grow the company.