Alternate Reality (AltR)


Audtra has retired its 10-year roadmap of a mind-video recording wearable to supplement the platform's audio/transcription ability. Newly-minted, 23-year-old me thought it’d be insightful to watch a video of dreams from the past night, or the 33% of life spent asleep, living in alternate realities. Originating as an EEG cap concept and illustration, I discovered Dr. Jack Gallant’s video of movies reconstructed from brain activity using fMRI. Researching other methods, I asked the most cited researcher in a psychology subfield if he thought EEG/fNIRS was viable. He digested journal articles on this and validated its potential. When I discovered a UK operation selling EEG electrodes with a BlackBox-like fNIRS device to 100 pilot users, I filed a combined, EEG cap/fNIRS headband patent application at 24. I’d hear of fNIRS’ recent use in studies per a poster presentation, and future use per a keynote, at an international research conference, with the plan to study neuro part-time the same calendar year.

The time and recent process of transferring a 20m, July 4th fireworks video from the device it was recorded on to a different device for cutting, exporting the 6m video out of the cutting application, and sending it back to the phone for uploading was time-consuming. I further didn’t have the patience to watch my own video, even though it was fun content. Video analytics proved followers felt the same, as did a comedic tweet about a 15s video. I experienced similar inefficiencies trying to upload an hour-long conference video from my phone, and don't believe the ability to record an 8h dream/thought video will reach mass adoption. “Mind-video recording wearable” doesn’t fit in the 90% (soon, 95%) automated, self-sustaining venture, nor does it solve any immediate problems. It could still help researchers one day, with their development funded by universities for that niche.

Update: Andreessen's Benedict Evans retweeted a GIF of the Gallant video, where the replies prove I'm years ahead.