Discover a new app for saving memories
How an old clip of her mother led Judith Ralston to Miigen, a new app for saving memories
“Seeing my mother in her prime was one of the most powerful things I’ve experienced in a long time.”
TV Personality Judith Ralston had never seen footage of her mother until someone shared with her a video from the ‘60s. It was an emotional and uplifting experience.
After that moment earlier this year, Judith discovered Miigen – a new Scottish app that allows people to store and narrate old photographs in an online time capsule – and she loved the new technology so much, she signed up for her own account.
Judith said: “I discovered Miigen a couple of months ago – not long after I watched the video of my mother – and I was really quite blown away by it. This simple idea, taking old photographs from our shoeboxes in the loft and being able to narrate and store them for our kids and grandkids is just wonderful.”
Miigen was created by Stirling entrepreneurs Craig Lemmon and Campbell Ferrier. The inspiration for their idea was also an emotional one. Campbell explained: “Both Craig and I had lost a parent quite close together and we both had to go through the difficult experience of sorting through old possessions. We both realised that we had discovered masses of treasure troves of old pictures that we had no knowledge of.
“It was really quite upsetting to think that all these memories would never be enjoyed in the future because the stories behind them were gone. The more we talked about this, the more we realised how passionate we were to do something about it. That’s how Miigen was born.”
Miigen is simple and easy to use. It can be accessed on desktop, tablets and smartphones. Users simply log in, upload their images and narrate them by using the record function.
The developers are already working on various other functions, including a biographer option which will allow people to become online custodians for family and community groups.
Craig and Campbell are aware that many of the people who typically would like to use the app, might not be computer literate. Digital and social inclusion are important factors for the entrepreneurs so they created the Miigen Biographers function.
Miigen Biographers can help other older adults to tell the story of their life and community digitally on Miigen, ensuring that no one gets left out.
Judith Ralston is the first high-profile user to join Miigen and co-founder Craig Lemmon believes the popular presenter’s involvement will help to boost sign-ups.
He said: “Judith was really like any other user of Miigen. As soon as she learned about it, she was taken by it almost immediately. We find that most people who use the app quickly become very attached to it. Photographs represent the stories of our lives and that’s something that’s very dear to just about all of us.
“We feel very strongly that we have a responsibility to ensure people can store memories for future generations to enjoy.”
Miigen is centred around keeping family memories alive simply because the story of the life “held captive” in the shoeboxes or old cases in the attic or basement are important to the family.
Craig said: “They are the bedrock of the family history and the story of a generation that we are at risk of losing.”
Miigen users can create a Family Group under their own profile and issue usernames and passwords to other family members or, in the case of older adults in the family, simply set up a device for them to muse without a need to remember usernames or passwords.
“Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for our older adults to add a voice tag to any image uploaded by a family member – then store these images and play them back to them, in later life, when they need them most, as memory triggers to remind them of the great life they have had,” said Campbell.
Miigen is the place where older adults will go in later life to learn about their lives again.
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