Adults can recall memories from the age of three. Our brains help us sort out important things for long-term memory and more trivial things for short-term memory. 1 We pull up these pieces of memory when we need them. We can remember a lot, but we also keep forgetting, forgetting details.
Therefore, humans have always had the habit of recording. Today we record our lives by posting in social media, taking photos, and so on. In most of the more modern methods, we record our life initiatively, which means we need to do something to record a piece of memory. So, we mostly only record the unique things and easily ignore the tiny things like a common dinner or a usual TV night. But those little things are actually big parts of our life experience, especially when they relate to memories about our parents.
As we grow up, we no longer have enough time to spend with our parents. Our interactions with them are often routine and go unrecorded. For example, we might just sit in a room with them and talk. This usually does not make it in our life recordings, and many other routine meetings do not. The result is that our recordings do not include much about our parents, who are some of the most important people to us.
Engram is an app that is designed to solve this problem of only having records of unique situations but not the tiny moments. With user permission, Engram can mark details about every second of an interaction, such as the weather during that time or the distance between users and their parents, without any proactive operation. When users go through their past recordings, the small memory hints that were recorded by the software can help them recall memories.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Memory--Interactive multimedia--Design; Parent and child--Interactive multimedia--Design; Mobile apps--Development; User interfaces (Computer systems)--Design
Visual Communication Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CAD)
Wu, Tong, "Engram, an application of recording and throwing back memories with your parents" (2020). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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