In the historical blink of an eye, our digital footprints have surpassed the entire volume of human knowledge record from cave paintings up until the end of 2015. Photo, audio, video and other digital fragments are composing our online life. While these digital formats have their strengths, they fail to bring those ephemeral scenes in our memory back to life, as objects, people and the environment we live in are three-dimensional. With the recent advancements in computer vision and spatial computing devices, photogrammetry is becoming more accessible. In this project I design a new capturing experience using photogrammetry, with which people can store their treasured objects eternally in a virtual 3D format, record themselves or their beloved ones and bring those precious scenes in memory back to life in VR.
Understand the Task
The task is to design a digital experience that allows users to capture their everyday life. When I get this task, I brainstorm with a mind map. There are three keywords, digital experience, capture and everyday life. Digital experience can be on cross-platforms with different user interfaces. Capture can in various formats. What is everyday life? It is composed of our daily routine, special events, milestone like birthday and graduation, etc.
How do people capture their everyday life?
Then based on the mind map, to further understand how people capture their everyday life, I interview 4 potential users with 7 brief open-ended questions, in order to discover their behavior patterns, concerns, pain points and goals. Each interview is around 20 to 30 minutes. The findings help me identify some design opportunities and further ideate my concept.
Such as Yanying, she loves to capture those beautiful and happy moments. But while she is getting older and older, it’s easy to forget some little things in life and it' sad. Photos and videos are not enough to help her recall those memories.
Understand the Problem
After the interviews, I find out that we only capture a fragment of life. Most of the memories are lost as time goes by. Things captured with photos and videos are enhanced in our memory. However, for those that are not in our consciousness fade away quickly. Therefore, I start to think that is there a way to capture more information, including those that are not in consciousness? And how can we display and use these information? These two questions lead to my design direction. That’s using photogrammetry to capture and AR/VR to display.
Some Existing Solutions
There are some competitive products that enable people to capture and share their life in a 3D way. Even though they each do a great job on a specific step, the capturing experience they provide is incomplete. It is either lack of functions or hardware required. However, from this competitive analysis, I am happy to see that lots of users love to capture and share in this way, the photogrammetry technology itself is achievable on mobile phone and it is promising to take advantage of social media platforms, like facebook.
Why I choose photogrammetry to capture people's life? On one hand, compared to the other ways, photogrammetry is accessible now with the recent improvement of computer visions and spatial computing ability on mobile device. People can fully interact with it using gestures or in AR/VR. It includes spatial information including depth and its future value is promising.
On the other hand, the current process of getting photogrammetry using mobile phone is long and time consuming. It require external software and computer with high standard GPU. Data set is lage. Process time is long. However, using this method with camera photos can really generate very realistic photogrammetry. The result is great. It is low cost in terms of capturing and doable to everyone. This process can be improved too.
I create this user journey to help me understand users’ emotion, pain points as well as design opportunities at each key moment. This also helps to create my user flow. In my design, discover, capture, edit, save and post are all in one place on your mobile phone, no external hardware or software required.
Based on the user journey, I am able to figure out these features for each key moment.
With these features, we can capture more information with Photogrammetry and keep our memory fresh with Virtual Album.
In this experience design, Capture and View are the two main steps. For capture, by grafting the photogrammetry feature onto existing video taking behavior, this experience is reassuringly familiar to users. Assistant guidance is also provided, especially for first time users. For viewing options, you have your virtual album that preserves all your memories. You can bring them back into life again in AR, or immerse yourself in VR.
From the user flow, I go further with wireframes. I try to make as less layer as possible, so that user don’t need to go deep and get lost.
Before doing visual design, I like to have a style guide. Here is my Logo. Getting the letter “L” and “S” from LifeScape, I create this whale shape logo. Whale is most of the most long livng animals on earth and the goal for LifeScape is to make the ephemera eternal. Therefore, I think this lovely creature can carry on this message.I choose to use these banana yellow, orange and grapefruit color, because I want it to have fun, vibrant and warm-hearted feelings. Those memories preserved in LifeScape are kept fresh all the time like fruits. Also, the two colors in gradient are well distinguished to create a dual tone effect.
Next I want to get my own photogrammetry and use WebGL AR/VR to build a workable demo and then do a user test to iterate, as I think this idea is very valuable. The digital footprints we captured in this way can not only be used in AR/VR, but also 3d printing, industrial design, architecture design, real estate, etc. What’s most important is that it is low-cost and accessible to everyone for everyday use.