The Memory Allocation & Visualization Mask (MA&VM) is a diegetic product designed for a future in which the cloud is full. If society lacks the capability to store knowledge on external devices, will we rely more on our own personal memory? If so, how can we access it better, faster, and easier? Recent research has proven that specification of individual memories in the brain is not only possible, but capable of manipulation and re-allocation.
“U.S. scientists said Friday they have developed an on-off memory switch that helped laboratory rats remember a behavior that they had forgotten.” – Discovery News
The human mind is capable of phenomenal memory storage. We may not realize it, but the moment we are told something, it becomes a memory. Unfortunately, due to time, or lack of interest, this memory becomes back-logged in our mind, and thus loses it’s accessibility. MA&VM is designed specifically to allow users to visualize and navigate the complex infrastructure of our mind’s past memories. MA&VM is a tool to turn ON or OFF specific points of interest in the moment they are needed.
“Thanks to search engines, most simple facts don’t need to be remembered. They can be accessed with a few keystrokes, plucked from ubiquitous server-stored external memory — and that may be changing how our own memories are maintained.” – Wired Magazine
What product(s) could exist for selecting specific memories within our brains? Can the development of a memory allocation device eliminate the need for external storage? These questions are especially relevant when considering the ramifications of a growth in dependence on external storage systems (i.e. the cloud).
The project began with the above series of quick, initial, explorations inspired by the concept of an on/off switch for memory.
The right side of MA&VM consists of 5 knobs: years, hours, minutes, and seconds. The middle of the mask is a visualization apparatus, allowing the user to see the memories. The left side consists of a series of on/off switches. The user can use this interface to browse through past thoughts, and specify which should be turned on or off while the mask is in use.
I am excited that the project has gone through a series of iterations to get to the level of refinement it is at today. After completing the final schematic for the product, I discovered that there are a lot of elements that are not completely necessary – thus, I am interested in exploring refining the physical interface more. Moving forward, I would like to investigate specific interactions that could take place while using such a device – how exactly does a user find specific memories? Furthermore, I am interested in developing the project further to create a wearable version that can provide some better sense of what it would be like to use such a product.