Useful? Creepy? Useful AND creepy? You decide.
The “With Me” smartphone app allows users to snap selfies and chat with 3D avatars of their dead loved ones. Designed by South Korean tech company ELROIS, a firm that specializes in photo-realistic 3D avatar services, “With Me” hopes to help mourners “overcome their wounded hearts”.
“It was designed for those who lost a friend or family member and are having trouble moving on,” said an ELROIS spokesperson to DailyMail.
“Some people told us that our app reminds of ‘Black Mirror’. However, when we think about the reason why we take a picture or video, I could say, people want to leave their memories by what we can see forever,” he added.
“Also, people do everything to remember some precious person to them or will do anything to move on. 3D photo-realistic avatar is based on the actual person and it has some interaction with the users, so we think the avatars can be the new way to overcome their wounded-heart with a good function of new technology,” the spokesperson commented.
Here’s how it works, according to the DailyMail’s report:
- Users first create a 3D scan of their friend or family member, which has to be done while they are alive. This is usually done at a 3D booth.
- Next, the scan is uploaded to the app where it is reshaped into an avatar.
- Users can then take selfies and hold conversations with the digital being.
- The app uses artificial intelligence that helps the avatar recognize the user’s face, voice and even remembers personal information about them.
ELROIS also added that the app can also be used to make 3D avatars of (still alive) loved ones and friends so that even if they’re not around, the user can still “interact” and “be” with them. That’s even creepier!
The firm also noted the potential use of the technology for celebrities and their fans – which is probably the more practical, non-creepy use of the technology.
No word yet from ELROIS on when “With Me” will hit the app stores as of this posting.