General People Technology

Virtual Reality Reunites Mother With Dead Daughter

Virtual reality technology has enabled a grief-stricken mother to be reunited with her dead daughter in South Korea, according to a documentary.

Jang Ji-sung reunited with her 7-year-old daughter, Na-Yeon, who died of leukemia in 2016.

Ji-sung’s reunion with her daughter was made possible via advanced Virtual Reality (VR). The technology creates a simulated experience that is similar to the real-world experience.

Oxford defines VR as “the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.”

The creators had modeled Na-Yeon in a digital avatar using photos and memories from her mother. A child model was used for motion capture and Nayeon’s face, body and voice

Her mother was made to put on the VR headset to have conversations with her computer-generated daughter while the child’s father, brother, and sister watched from the sidelines.

In the footage, Na-Yeon appeared as if she was playing hide-and-seek with her mother.

“Mum, where have you been?” she asks. “I’ve missed you a lot. Have you missed me?

Tearful Jang Ji-sung reached out towards her daughter, saying: “I have missed you Na-Yeon.”

But in the real world, Ji-sung was only standing in front of a studio screen, wearing a virtual reality headset and touch-sensitive gloves which made it possible for her to feel her daughter.

Creators of the documentary titled “Meeting You” said it took them eight months to create it.

They claimed that the documentary was intended to “console the family”.

The director, Lee Hyun-suk, said: “People would often think that technology is something that’s cold. We decided to participate to see if technology can comfort and warm your heart when it is used for people.”

Na-Yeon’s mother said of the documentary: “It’s heartbreaking that her time has stopped at the age of 7,” adding that “But I was so happy to see her that way.”



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