Instagram Meets Pokémon GO: Startup unveils patented AR tech promising nostalgic users “the future of preserving the past”
ReplayAR, a free AR app now available for download on the App Store for iOS devices, allows users to permanently freeze their visual memories where they take place so days, months, or even years later, they can revisit the same location and see that moment from their past overlaid on top of the present-day setting where the photograph was taken.
“Our patented technology allows you to geocache your memories and see personal experiences projected on the locations where they actually happened,” explains inventor and founder, Jay Huddy. “Finding these AR photos in the real world is basically a combination of Instagram and Pokémon GO, but beyond that, the AR you create today can also be seen by future generations and provides a lasting way of saying: We were here.”
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Same place, different time
“Imagine going to a place you visited long ago and seeing it exactly as it was, with all your friends and loved ones still there, just as you remember them. That’s a powerful thing,” says CMO Brandon Martin who believes the impact of ReplayAR will be far-reaching. “The long-term applications for ReplayAR’s imaging tech and data collection are massive, ranging from historic preservation and architectural restoration to tourism, education, humanities, marketing, forensics, and even military intelligence.”
“ReplayAR is an open time capsule that’s all around us at all times,” says Keith McCullough, ReplayAR CTO and VP of WorkinMan Interactive in Rochester, NY, which partnered with ReplayAR to develop the app. “Personally what captured my imagination was the idea of being able to see projections of our daughter growing up in our house and having those moments frozen there for us to see whenever we wanted. It sounds a little like an episode of Black Mirror, but hopefully one with a happy ending!”
Huddy says ReplayAR is still in its experimental stages. Behind the scenes, his team is expanding the app into a global AR social networking platform but before that happens, he wants to share the single-user version with everyday people to get feedback and see how they’ll use the technology in unique ways.
“We want to see what ReplayAR reveals about the human condition, how it can move us emotionally or maybe even be used as a positive tool for activism,” says Huddy. “We still don’t know the full range of what this is yet or how it’s effect will ripple through industries.”
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Cash prizes for the best ReplayAR experiences
ReplayAR is now offering people cash prizes up to $500 for the most creative ways they can use the app. Users are encouraged to take videos of their AR experiences with the in-app camera and post them on Instagram with the hashtag #ReplayAR.
While ReplayAR arguably– if not literally– allows its audience to visit the past and witness history first-hand where it happened, don’t worry about the butterfly effect or think you’re getting your hands on that sports almanac just yet.
“For now, ReplayAR simply allows us to go back to a place and see it the way it was at a singular moment,” says Huddy, “We still can’t interact with that past, or change the outcome of future events, but who knows? Give us time.”
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