Not sure what to build with your lego? Now there’s an app to help you
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Lego is amazing. But if you or your kids are avid about building, you will inevitably end up with a big pile of bricks, shed from different sets. Sometimes that pile looks like the pure nuggets of creativity. Other times, it’s just a maddening reminder that you will never, ever get your life organized.
The Brickit app, free on iOS, is a promising way to look at your bricks anew. While it was designed by a team of fans rather than The Lego Group, it can do something that no other Lego app has ever done: Scan that big pile of bricks, and it offers specific plans as to what you can build next.
That’s no small feat. Modern Lego is so much more complicated than its classic three-by-six bricks; the company produces thousands of different styles of pieces today. With Brickit, all you do is take a picture of your pile, and it uses object recognition to identify the specific brick types you have. With your collection cataloged, the app offers specific building plans—like vehicles and animals—that you can build with the pieces you have right in front of you.
To test the app, I knew just the place: the room of my 7-year-old. Right on his desk sits an omnipresent tub of loose Lego, a rainbow graveyard full of the limbs of Harry Potter minifigs and other studded detritus.
First, I tried to take a picture of the tub. But the app simply identified all the things it couldn’t understand: Lego rail track, some other specialized pieces, and a few non-Lego toys. (Brickit doesn’t claim to identify special Lego sets like Technic or anything else you might own). So I enlisted his help, and did that weird parent thing where you sometimes have to ask permission of your own child to dump much of the bin onto the floor. We weeded out the bad pieces and scanned again. The system counted 150 pieces this time, but the app gave no suggested builds.
Read more on fastcompany.co.za.