Student work, 2012 Wentworth Institute of Technology
Student work, 2012
Wentworth Institute of Technology

Memento: A new kind of therapy based on your own memories.

Identity is an inherently creative process.

Our self-perception is based upon an ever-changing narrative that we keep, formed by our experiences and forged by the milestones in our life. You are not the same person as you were yesterday, and what you experience today will shape who you become tomorrow. This is the fundamental flaw (and affordance) of memory. It is malleable mirror to the past, which distorts the image depending on our perspective at the time of reflection.

By capturing and preserving one’s defining moments and granting easy, externalized access to the digital assets that represent these moments, Memento can provide a strong foundation to build upon during a time of uncertainty.

The introduction of the photograph infinitely changed the manner in which we define our identity. The ability to capture a moment in time grants us a fixed perspective into the past, which the brain uses in the reconstructive process of recollection. Still, a photograph isn’t an absolute truth. As they saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but we lose so much in translation. Advancements in technology have meant that video and sound recordings are now ubiquitous with 'memories' -- they have become second nature to us and our sense of self. These digital assets are the foundational bricks in modern memory recall, upon which we construct the house of narrative in which we live. It’s strange to think about taking identity for granted, but for someone with a neurological disorder such as Alzheimer’s Disease, maintaining a sense of self is a day to day struggle. 

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RESEARCH

How do we remember?

Audio source: Ed Ferrigan, "Implicit and Explicit Memory", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-W6TDYi0Cw

Edited and animated by Joe Bradford under Fair Use of the source material.

Audio source: Ed Ferrigan, "Implicit and Explicit Memory", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-W6TDYi0Cw

Edited and animated by Joe Bradford under Fair Use of the source material.

How does the brain process external stimulus, like music?

Above: Alive Inside clip of Henry

Alive Inside documents the neurological healing potential that music has on those with late stage Alzheimers. 

Above is an example of the emotive and physical responses our bodies may have to music.

Can we route around dimmed neural pathways with aide from external stimuli?

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How can we synthesize this data to inform the design of a product or system? 

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Process

Working through early form and user interaction with a rough demo in Keynote. A goal was to -- trying to see how to incorporate both movement and speech into the system of objects, as both movement and speech are important components to the therapy program LSVT Big and Loud.

Splash Screen exploration in Illustrator.

Physical/Digital Interaction

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Working Prototype

RFID chips are embedded into handmade picture frames. Each frame sits slightly off of the wall on a magnetic mount that aligns at 90 degree angles, meaning frames are easy to take off their mount, easy to re-hang, are never crooked, and do not require nails. When a frame is placed on the Memento RFID smart hub, a ring of LEDs illuminates, signifying that the memory is being accessed, and a command is wirelessly sent to a linked computer which pulls up a custom coded web page on the TV. The user may then access the media through body movement tracked on a Microsoft Kinect, eliminating the need for an additional controller or peripheral. The user's hand is tracked by the connect, and they simply need to extend their hand in the direction of the media they would like to interact with. 

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