Watch your memories in 3D: New VR startup makes this possible

They can be superimposed in the same locations where they were recorded.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Man in VR headset.
Man in VR headset.

Damir Khabirov/iStock 

Our smartphones collect a trove of data that can make pretty compelling memories. Now, a new virtual reality startup called Wist is introducing a new feature that allows you to replay those memories in 3D exactly where you videotaped them.

The company has released a video demonstration where a user activates the feature in his living room only to have a man playing with a baby superimposed on a couch he likely was sitting once on.

The technology is impressive and has been a long time in the making.

"During capture, we save color, depth, device pose, audio, and scene information," Wist cofounder Andrew McHugh told Freethink back in October of 2022. "Depth is captured using the LiDAR sensors on the Pro model iPhones and iPads."

In a Medium post, he further explained the purpose of his technology.

“[Photos and videos] act as memory anchors, allowing us to travel back to those moments and the moments around the anchor. [They] are great to look at, but they don’t give you the same experience as being there again,” he explained.

The right combination

“We’re at a beautiful moment on our timeline where 3D capture technology is being embedded into consumer phones via new sensors and software. The tech is early but available,” he further noted.

“The right combination of this new tech can allow us to capture immersive memories: spatial moments in time that you can step back into. And, the right design and engineering can make this as easy as capturing a video.”

McHugh compares the new technology to a magical one: Harry Potter’s pensieve. This is a mirror that allows people to relive their memories or even watch the memories of others.

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Wist does the same thing, bringing to life vivid color videos recorded and experienced long ago. It can allow for many beautiful moments, like a parent reliving their child’s first steps or celebrations and birthdays that were missed.

In doing so, the technology could allow people to better understand each other and their individual pasts and ensure that no one has to miss out on a special moment as long as someone is around to record it.

We recently reported on a VR headset that lets you feel a kiss. We can’t help but wonder if the two technologies were combined: could people actually feel their memories? Only time will tell.

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