Imagine being able to see and speak to a 3D image of a person from an earlier time. This is exactly what New Dimensions in Testimony is producing. We are now able to preserve history for future generations in a unique way that is as interesting as it is educational. The project brings stories of Holocaust survivors together by 3D video, and goes beyond the thrill of just reading and learning through a book you’d buy at a store or through your school.
The technology was made possible through a collaboration that consisted of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and the USC Shoah Foundation, along with the National Language Dialogue group, Conscience Display. The life-like images were made possible by using 3D cameras and ICT’s Light State technology.
Pinchas Gutter was the first subject chosen (who is a Holocaust survivor) and as filmed answering over 1,000 questions. This ~25 hours of footage is essential: by combining natural language processing from the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, people are able to ask Gutter’s avatar questions that trigger responses that are relevant — some even being spot-on. Because of the success of Gutter’s first interview, 11 more Holocaust survivors have been planned to be included in the future.
Of course, 3D projections are not just limited to the above. Superpowers such as Microsoft have been experimenting with what they dub as the Microsoft HoloLens, ‘holoportation’ projects 3D models of people and objects that can be transmitted in real time. It’s kind of like that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but cooler: the receiver can interact virtually with the projection, allowing the user to ‘speak’ face to face with people on the opposite side of the world if they want. The technology can also record and save them for future playback, allowing users to re-experience and save a digital memory.
Japan is big on the tech as well, developing holograms that respond to human touch. Currently, the technology is only the size of a fingertip initially, but they can be scaled larger. The future of this technology can make interactions feel that much more real, personal and shared.
Minus the fact that interactive video technology is exciting for the fact that technology is simply expanding (duh), it allows for incredible legacies to be left behind for future generations by revolutionizing education and allowing consumers to connect first-hand to stories on a deeper level.