VR startup developing technology to “replay” memories

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By enabling users to “replay” their memories in the precise places where they have previously occurred, a virtual reality firm has brought the dystopian TV program “Black Mirror” one step closer to becoming a reality.

Startup Wist Labs boasts in a video demo of the technology that its upcoming software would allow users to revisit special occasions “how [they] remember them” by playing back recorded “memories” superimposed over certain real-world locations using augmented reality.

The procedure appears to be really simple, according to Wist’s website: users can use an app to convert a standard smartphone video into a 3D depiction, which they can then play back on location using a VR headset, their phone, or web browser.

Cofounder of Wist Andrew McHugh told Freethink last autumn, “We save color, depth, device pose, audio, and scene information during capture.” “The LiDAR sensors on the Pro model iPhones and iPads are used to capture depth.”

Although the idea is undoubtedly high-tech, many people appear to find the horrifying thought of replaying recorded memories to be a turnoff.

The demo is uncannily similar to an early “Black Mirror” episode called “The Entire History of You,” as several Twitter users pointed out. In that episode, a bereft man watches back recent memories of a dinner party recorded from his always active “grain” brain implant in an attempt to determine whether or not his wife is cheating on him.

Another user drew attention to a touching sequence from the 2002 movie “Minority Report,” which was based on the same-titled novel by Philip K. Dick. The main character plays back a memory of his child playing, and it had the same type of ethereal visual trails as Wist’s presentation.

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

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