South Korean company Elrois have displayed an honestly unnerving app at the World Mobile Congress Show. Named ‘With Me’, it will allow users to snap pictures of themselves side by side their departed friends and family.
The creation of designer Eun Jin Lim, With Me uses a blend of 3D augmented reality and artificial intelligence to make it seem that a scanned individual of your choice can be placed by your side in a “natural” fashion. Though it doesn’t necessarily have to be a deceased person you embed in a photo using the mobile phone app, according to Eun Jin Lim, that was the exact reasoning behind its creation.
Speaking with the BBC she said:
“We actually designed it for someone who has lost in their family.” She added “I had my grandmother before and she passed away a few years ago but I really regret that she passed away and we didn’t have any pictures together.”
The tool has its limits in photographically raising the dead. For an avatar to take part in a photo, they will have to have been scanned while they were alive. The idea is that users would take loved ones to scanning booths so that a copy of them could be preserved in this form for future use.
Now if that wasn’t enough to send shivers down some of your spines, it gets a little creepier; the avatars will also be able to talk to you. Using basic A.I the avatars will recognise you, as well as your emotions and appearance and will respond to that in various ways. In a way you could have a conversation with a facsimile of the dead. It won’t be very in-depth but it still makes us uncomfortable to think about.
So what are your thoughts on this? Charming preservation or awful desecration? Right now we’re leaning towards it being another check on the “things Black Mirror warned us was coming list.