Kickstarter Pick of the Week is Vulcan Post’s brand new weekly series where we share some of the most noteworthy and creative projects that pose to make positive improvements in our lives. Come across anything interesting on crowdfunding websites? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Last Tuesday marked Vulcan Post’s inaugural Kickstarter series where we kicked off with memobottle, a flat water bottle that aims to raise awareness about environmental issues. In this week’s installment, we’re introducing you to a project that’s a whole lot different, but equally ambitious.
Can you name your great-grandparents? I can’t. When United States-based internet company Ancestry.com conducted a survey, they unearthed some unexpected results. They learnt that half of Americans know the name of only one or none of their great-grandparents. Moreover, they found out that 22% of them did not know what their grandfathers did for a living.
But there’s a silver lining — 78% are interested in learning more about their family history. Perhaps sensing that a worrying social trend might still happen in the near future, a New York-based company is working on a time machine to change it.
Well, close enough to a time machine anyway.
Developed with researchers from Princeton University, the company came up with Yourbot, a technology device that’s “designed to share experiences, interactions and memories across the once unescapable boundaries of time and space.”
Here’s how it works. Through a chain of daily questions, it builds your very own digital personality. You can choose to type your answers via web or mobile interface. If you’d like to leave a personal touch, consider leaving an audio or video clip. Yourbot is also equipped with built-in voices, so even if you leave your answers in text, the feature will nonetheless bring your story to life.
Yourbot will then build and store its data for at least 200 years into the future. That’s right, 200 years.
Also read: S’pore’s Smart Future Looks Amazing, But Should We Be Worried About Our Privacy?
To phrase from Yourbot, it “captures your psychological profile”. Its mobile app allows individuals to create a 3D scan and creates an avatar of themselves.
Individuals’ answers are automatically categorised by the software, as Yourbot connects over a Wi-Fi connection and works with a keyword based speech-to-text engine. The battery is rechargeable and the current version has an 80 minute run time.
If this sounds a little over your head, fret not! Here’s a video of the working prototype. It makes so much sense.
What happens if your descendants ask a question that you didn’t prepare for?
Easy, just come up with a smart comeback to these unforseen queries. It’s time to put your wit to the test. Yourbot recommends a response that add to your personality, because this is your legacy after all.
If you’ve accidentally shared information that should be kept in the closet (translation: information that you wouldn’t be caught dead with), simply edit or better yet, delete them.
The cost for this Kickstarter project stands at $250 for early birds, and $300 for others. Individuals can also purchase the digital subscription to immortality service for $100 (not including the device).
With 16 more days to go, Yourbot is almost halfway to its goal. The product has been well-received from individuals and critics (Alleywatch, Fast Company, PSFK) so far, with many praising its functionality. There’s even some Twitter love from users around the world!
If you’d like to show your support for Yourbot, mouse over to this link and back the project!
Also read: Digital Tattoos: So Near In Our Future We Can ‘Feel’ It