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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 Kenneth Walton


So sorry to hear about your dad. My father went through a similar problem with a series of different nursing homes and senior apts. It was a very difficult time. He also lost his sight, had a double amputation, and so he lost all mobility. My mother in-law is now trying to find senior housing but the wait list in her area is two years long. Add to that loneliness and boredom it does not leave you much to look forward to as you grow old.
Keep your head up, and your Dads too. There needs to be some kind of reasonably affordable solutions to these problems that we will all face. It would be great if this challenge led to some of those solutions.

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