What if you could put on a virtual reality (VR) headset and share a conversation, a past vacation, or interact with a deceased loved one? Would you do it? One company thinks you would.
Project Elysium is a custom made virtual reality service that works with clients to recreate 3D models of their deceased loved ones. The founders have clients bring in “reference material” for a deceased loved one, and then the company builds the project. They also work with living people to create their own projects to leave behind for decedents.
Another offering is to create projects that let people interact with dead celebrities. For example, you could virtually sit at a table in a nightclub and watch Elvis perform.
Project Elysium is the first step in creating immersive, interactive virtual experiences between the living and the dead. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Dr. Albert Rizzo, Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California, said that with more data on the deceased person, the virtual reality experience could almost replicate the person’s personality, mannerisms, and movements—creating a living record.
“If I knew I had an incurable disease, maybe I would do a full body scan and have a digital replica created,” Dr. Rizzo told DailyMail.com. “And I would sit down for 20 hours, and have people ask me questions about my life and what I think about different things.”
Some experts wonder if this use of virtual reality is psychologically healthy. “I think helping people to confront difficult emotional challenges done in a safe environment is a positive thing,” said Dr. Rizzo. “When people avoid processing things, this is when it comes back and haunts them.”
“I don’t think there is any disrespect to the dead to want to view them and interact with them,” he said.