LEGOs are all about the possible: When handed a full box, what can you build? I spent a good chunk of my childhood rummaging through our LEGO collection at home, building all sorts of gadgets and contraptions. My older brother, when he wasn’t beating me up, would sometimes join in, and we’d spend hours building whatever structures we could imagine — which is probably why he’s now an architect and I’m an amateur boxer. He learned how to build; I learned how to throw a good punch. Both are useful life skills.
The hard part about LEGOs, though — especially if you’ve been collecting them for a while — is keeping track of what you have. After a while, everything just jumbles together and some of the pieces get lost. Not having a good sense of what you have and in what quantities is especially irritating if you’re trying to build something specific, only to run out of the right pieces before you can finish.
How to use Brickit, the new LEGO scanning app
A new app, called Brickit, available for download in the app store, will scan your LEGOs to create an inventory of your collection. This includes counting the total number of bricks, as well as sorting them by size. All you have to do is spread your LEGOs out on a flat surface and take a photograph, and the app will suggest different figures you can build using the bricks in your collection, including step-by-step directions.
Some of the suggested figures you can make include a platypus, a typewriter, a racer car, a train, and a peacock, while there will undoubtedly be more to come in the weeks ahead. Brickit will even show you where the LEGOs are in the pile you just scanned. If you don’t quite have the right size or colour of blocks, you are, in the spirit of LEGO building, encouraged to be creative.
This app is still in the beta stage, which means there are still quirks and limitations. For starters, it’s only available for Apple products, although an Android version is scheduled to come out in spring. It also doesn’t scan the Duplo series or part of Techno yet.
Limitations aside, though, it helps open up a world of possibility. So get out your LEGOs, take a photo, and start building.