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Her and His-story On Demand

The system would allow the user to have conversations with a pre-selected group of people from their life whenever they like.

Photo of Kenneth Walton
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

The concept is designed for anyone that in life loves to be surrounded by friends and family, that be lost or distant at the end of life.

The thing that appears to be the most heart breaking at the end of life is the loneliness and isolation experienced by many. Often friends and loved ones have been previously lost, and children and family have relocated out of the region. Visitors are scarce, and one’s mobility could be severely limited if there is mobility at all. Having the people around you that made your life worth living, on demand when you need them most could have a very positive impact on the end-of-life experience for ourselves and our loved ones?

 The USC institute for Creative Technology, created a system to capture true 3-D imaging along with the language-processing technology to build a voice-recognition system to make conversation-based testimony for Holocaust survivors. The “Ada and Grace” project in 2009 at the Museum of Science in Boston employed “Light Stage technology” and voice recognition software to create partially animated and interactive virtual humans.  Another USC project, “New Dimensions in Technology,” is currently working on interactive 3D displays. For this project, ICT and partnering organizations filmed an interview with a Holocaust survivor. ICT used similar techniques employed in “Ada and Grace,” as well as new developing technologies, to display the survivor as a virtual human capable of verbally interacting with an audience.  These projects provide a pathway for constructing and improving 3D holographic displays, as well as further developing virtual humans and artificial intelligence.

The system would allow the user to have conversations with a pre-selected group of people from their life whenever they like. Coupled with other types of Artificial Intelligence, this could be the virtual friend with you until the end.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

To prototype the idea, I would work with Logan Powell the local OpenIDEO DC Meet-Up group leader to create a hack-a-thon along with the AARP Foundation. We would use Google Cardboard, ZED, ECHO Alexa with IFTTT, & head tracking (see videos) to create prototypes of the application. Build on the concepts from Patrizia C “Be There life experiences through AR &VR”, and collaboration with 3D-Experience-Arena. by Marine Dalais.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

From the community it would be great to get an idea of what the potential cost would be for the development of this kind of idea. Is this really something that be developed to be affordable to the masses?

Tell us about your work experience:

I am an architect and urban designer but I have been focusing on virtual and augmented reality for a little over 20 years.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual


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Photo of Eunice Corbin


I’ve finally had a chance to read your comments about this end-of-life challenge idea. I think these are fantastic concepts. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to contribute my thoughts because I’m actually in the process of a real life end-of-life challenge with my father. I’ve been trying to find an assisted living home for him. At 86 years of age he is no longer able to stay alone long term. My dad is very frustrated with his situation and also angry because he feels he’s run of time to tell his story. A few years ago to help him relax I gave him a few journals and told him to write down what he was feeling. From this lead, he started writing a book and has about 19 chapters typed (double spaced of course). My father is socially shy and I wonder how he would feel about such an endeavor as a recording of his story. I plan on getting his feedback about this very idea.

The good news is I was able to find a new home for him and he’ll be moving in the next few weeks. I hope I can follow-up with your progress on this idea once he is settled in.

Thank you for sharing!


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