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Virtual Reality Startup Developing ‘Replay’ Memory Technology

Virtual Reality Startup Developing 'Replay' Memory Technology

A virtual reality startup is bringing the future of the dystopian TV show “Black Mirror” one step closer to the present by enabling users to “replay” their memories in the exact locations where they had previously occurred.

Startup Wist Labs boasts in a video demonstration of the technology that its upcoming software will allow users to access priceless moments “how they remember them” by replaying recorded “memories” over specific in-real-life settings using augmented reality.

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Wist’s website makes the procedure sound easy: with the help of an app, users can convert a regular video shot on their smartphones into a 3D representation, which can then be viewed locally through a web browser, on the user’s smartphone, or in a virtual reality headset.

During the capturing process, color, depth, device pose, audio, and scene information are all saved, as Wist co-founder Andrew McHugh explained to Freethink in the fall of 2016. iPhones and iPads with the “Pro” designation have more advanced cameras and can capture depth data using their built-in LiDAR sensors.

While there’s no denying the cutting-edge nature of the concept, many people appear to be put off by the thought of reliving their recorded memories.

Multiple Twitter users have pointed out that the demo is eerily similar to an early episode of “Black Mirror” called “The Entire History of You,” in which a lonely man tries to figure out if his wife is cheating on him by watching footage of a recent dinner party shot from his always-on “grain” brain implant.

One commenter made a comparison to the touching scene in the 2002 film adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, in which the protagonist watches a recording of his child playing, complete with the same kind of ethereal visual trails seen in Wist’s demo.

Users of Wist’s VR are, at least for the time being, in charge of the memories they record, unlike the science fiction examples to which it has been compared.

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