The digital-era means in its current state that memories will be stored on diverse, insecure, platforms where the experience is flat and unengaging. Digital memorialisation is an under-researched topic but I found a body of research to support my design decisions. Emotional barriers of grieving and remembering, and users not considering their digital legacy were key points to consider in the design. It is also important that a variety of cultures and their way of customs and traditions are considered.
What happens to all that stuff that I post online, let alone my accounts? How can I ensure that future generations in my family know who I am? How can I prevent to be a disconnected digital ghost in an infinite digital cemetery?
Infinite was designed to change how memories are experienced now and in the future. It also enables the filtering of memories from trivia and a place where memories are preserved in an interactive memory space of a family history.
Infinite has two visual design approaches: Stellar constellations are used as a metaphor for relationships and allow for cultural diversity and individual interpretation. A 3D hallway where doors allow the user to visit Virtual Reality spaces with personal memories. It is an interactive creation-tool, with an integrated ‘Build yourself’ or Image-to-VR space conversion feature, that enhances the personalisation of spaces allowing for realistic or metaphorical using 3D objects.
The tool allows for the level of detail to be individually set to match the sensitivity of the visitor, avoiding too realistic scenarios that user testing showed could be problematic; for example creating realistic avatars from photographs. 3D objects can be created to access digital assets such as images, videos and documents.
To access the VR spaces the user needs a Virtual Reality headset, something that may be currently unaffordable or hard to use for most users. However because Infinite is a speculative project that that considers use-scenarios in the future, I’m confident that these headsets would be improved in their usability and setup nature, as well in affordability.
In terms of design quality, it speaks for itself that it won Bronze in the Student Interactive Category at Best Awards – however it is important to mention that this idea can be used in so many different ways. A way to document and preserve cultures, events and time. It could be in assistance of preserving memories in people with neurodegenerative disease. The possibilities are indeed – Infinite.