Helping people relive their memories with loved ones

Project Overview

People living away from their friends and families in places with cultural and linguistic barriers suffer pangs of social isolation. Research studies have shown that emotional memories help these people adapt better to these unfamiliar environments. This project presents Memoirs, a mobile application that fulfills the emotional needs of these people by facilitating them to relive the memories associated with objects of high emotional value.

  • First runner-up in OzCHI 2015, International Student Design Challenge, Melbourne, Australia

Team members: Samadrita Das, Dipti Kumari, and Pooja Dhaka

Role: Contextual Inquiry, Persona and Scenario Designing, Medium Fidelity Prototyping, Video Animation

Domain: Augmented Reality

Duration: 24 hours


The design prompt of the 24-hour International Student Design Challenge at OzCHI was to “design for social isolation”


  • People living away from their homes were identified as the final target group during the brainstorming session.
  • Thereafter, the contextual inquiry was conducted with 8 adults, 5 males and 3 females belonging to age group 20 to 23 years who stayed in foreign countries for a span of two or more than two months. Each interview lasted between twelve and fifteen minutes.
  • The findings from the interviews were analyzed through affinity mapping to identify the crucial pain points which included the inability to adapt to the new surroundings, loneliness, and homesickness.
  • Consequently, persona was defined and a scenario was created (as shown in the concept video) to define the primary touch points between the persona and the system, a mobile application.
  • A medium-fidelity prototype was then created to depict possible interactions of the user with the application.


01. Create a memoir

The user is prompted to add an object from his surroundings to attach memories to this object. He needs to click a picture of the object. This creates a memoir. The user can either save it as a new memoir or add it to an existing memoir.

02. Give details to your memoir

The user is asked to give name and event to the memoir. This is to associate the memoir to a memory related to someone special for him and a particular event.

03. Add memories to the memoir

By attaching photos and recordings videos of the one the user wants the memoir to associate to, the user can add as many memories as he wants.

04. Relive your memories

When the user feels isolated, he can relive the memories he created by hovering his phone over his memoir. As soon as the memoir is detected, the memories are augmented into the reality of the user simulating the presence of his loved ones.


  • This concept can be further extended to include artificial intelligence wherein the virtual figure can also emotionally interact and talk to the user real-time exactly like their loved one would have.
  • The behavior of this virtual figure can be defined based on the telephonic conversations, personal messages, and their social networking profiles.
  • Such an extension of this proposed application might help in tackling the social isolation of people living away from their loved ones.