Memory Station by Vivid-Pix easily helps preserve treasured photos
October 28, 2023
Many of us have thousands of photos we’re unable to reminisce over or share with loved ones, as they’re stashed away in attics and shoeboxes, many of them accumulating dust, others fading over time from improper storage. Others have lost these treasures due to fire or flood. We’ve resisted digitizing them as the process was too cumbersome, time-consuming and expensive. Memory Station by Vivid-Pix changes all that.
Memory Station is an impressive all-in-one solution currently consisting of a Ricoh SV600 overhead scanner and Restore by Vivid-Pix a proprietary patented AI-enhanced restoration software. Together, they quickly and easily allow anyone with a PC or Mac to scan, restore, store and share their valued treasures. The scanner comes with SnapScan Home Software for PC or Mac as well as Kofax Power PDF to create perfects PDF documents.
The beauty of an overhead scanner means the surface of, for example, a treasured photo or artwork is never touched by the device. You’re also not limited to the physicality of a document feeder or the small glass surface of a typical flatbed scanner. The scanning surface is a supplied notched soft black pad with size markings signifying the scanning area of an A3 document, effectively of 17-by-11.8 in. (432 by 300 mm). Items such as a book 1.18 in. or 30 mm thick, or memorabilia, trinkets and artifacts possibly up to three in. (76 mm) can also be scanned.
So, without the worry of damage, you can and scan in about three seconds, precious photographs, drawings, artwork, documents and even receipts whether they are in colour, black and white or greyscale.
The scanning process is well thought out. With the larger surface, you can easily at one time capture up 10 individual images of different shapes and sizes. With multi-item detection, it identifies each one so they can easily be named and separated and stored into individual files. For repeated scans, selecting Timed Mode triggers the scanner at preset intervals thus eliminating the need to hit the scan button each time.
EFFECTIVELY SCANS BOOKS AND MAGAZINE
For albums, magazines or books, whether you’re interested in the images, text or multiple pages, you no longer have to rip apart the binding or inadvertently split the seams or tear out pages. Page-Turning Detection automatically begins to scan as you turn the page again allowing your hands to stay free to hold open the book. And if your finger or thumbs happen to get in the way, the Point-Correction feature allows you to erase those unwanted appendages from the image.
If you’re concerned about distorted text or skewed images from your book not being flat enough the scanning surface, ScanSnap’s advanced Book Image Correction will fix that. It attempts to minimize the unevenness of the image and automatically tries to smoothen it. If necessary, you can subsequently fine tune the scanned images after the fact.
This feature might take little getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, it makes book scanning a breeze.
Other features include automatic colour and size detection, automatic rotation, de-skew and blank page removal. Once you’ve passed the initial set-up, you’re all set to go, simply hit the blue button on the scanner.
RESTORE BRINGS OLD FADED IMAGES BACK TO LIFE
What really makes the Memory Station shine, is Vivid-Pix Restore Software. You can easily take your scanned images, enhance them and simply bring them back to life. The software is intuitive and does not require a steep learning curve to master.
After launching simply select from the dropdown menu what best describes your file: A faded or badly faded image or document or perhaps a cellphone image.
Restore’s proprietary algorithm immediately generates nine possible enhanced images as your starting point. Select what you think has the best lighting and contrast. You’ll immediately see a series of controls and a Before and After window. Choose the colour type: Colour, black and white or Sepia (brownish reddish tone popular in the early 1900s.) Then select Tilt or Rotate, if necessary. Lightness, Contrast and Sharpness controls appear on the left and colour controls appear on the right. As you adjust them you will see the “After” photo change in real time. Once you’ve found the right balance and you’re happy with your enhanced photo or more readable document, save and you’re done.
It’s really that easy.
If you have other similar photos, you can save your settings as custom and use them again saving you even more time. Restore supports more than a half-dozen file formats and various file size options. Techies, you can also view or edit metadata to add searchable tags.
Your saved treasures can be simply stored on your computer, uploaded to a cloud service or shared with family and friends. Audio can also be annotated for even better storytelling with partnering services like Fileshadow and Artifcts.
Vivid-Pix offers a series of free resources to help guide you along.
IDEAL FOR EVERYONE
The Memory Station by Vivid-Pix is ideal for anyone wants to easily preserve the memories of the past and ensure them for future generations without worrying about the technology. It’s cost effective and would fit in well families and individuals built also for storytellers, photographers but also for retirement homes, libraries and genealogical societies.
Bundle prices start at $769 directly from vivid-pix.com. Commercial software licenses and other configurations are also available.
To help you almost perfect scans, you can optionally add a Memory Station Image Stabilizer (US$149). It’s a 16-by-20-in. museum quality non-glare acrylic sheet that sits atop your background pad to holding multiple photos and documents flat and in place and virtually eliminates reflections.
Memory Station’s user experience promises to get even better. Restore will be incorporated into a new soon-to-be-released Memory Station software. It rids the need for multiple steps and yields even better image quality by importing images directly from the scanner. It’s designed for a smoother workflow giving users the ability to scan, restore, record and share easier from within the application and offers better integration with third party services.
Vivid-Pix will be releasing both consumer and commercial versions of Memory Station.
For more information, visit vivid-pix.com.
About Greg Gazin
Greg Gazin is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger and podcaster, and has been a contributor to Active Life Magazine since 2016. He also contributes to canoe.com and Troy Media. gadgetguy.ca