The selfie culture may make us take for granted the ability to live in the moment, but photos are one of the ways we get to immortalize our memories. The blind don't have the opportunity to see snapshots of their lives, only visually remembering these events in their mind's eyes. That is until now.
In a new ad by the 3D printer manufacturing company Pirate3D, the visually impaired are given "sight" as their memories come to life
The video for its "Touchable Memories" campaign previews the Singapore-based company transforming photos into 3D models, as it tells touching stories of five blind people.
Directed by Brazilian filmmaker Marco Aslan, the video features five visually impaired people recalling memories. These memories are then created into a 3D model using Pirate3D's Buccaneer printer. The people are shown reliving their memories as they come to life right in the palm of their hands.
"There were very long silences while we saw emotions wash over their faces as if they were being transported in time," project leader Fred Bosch said.
Daniela, one of the women featured in the ad, reminisced about a childhood memory of a ski vacation with her family.
"She chose a memory that not only brought her back to her childhood and the ski holiday she spent with her family, but also reminded her of intimate details that she had forgotten, like the wool cap she was wearing at the time and the crunch of the snow beneath her boots," Bosch added.
Daniela said that if she could touch the picture again, she could hold on to the memory in a tangible way, even though it only lives on in her mind.
The photograph comes to life thanks to the technology, proving a memento of a memory she described as "almost like dreams, like a gust of wind -- there and it's gone."
The ad also featured Mario, a blind musician, and Gabor, a former director of photography who lost his sight 12 years ago.
"Sometimes you can take a photo, you can double it, take it with you, but with movies it's a little different because you cannot touch it," Gabor said.
The film shows five people touching molds of their memories, allowing them to "see" themselves in a picture. Molds included one of Mario's album cover.
"I always wondered what this would look like," Mario said. "Now, I can finally see it."
The people smiled as they remembered a hat or the way their father would throw them in the air.
The ad reminds us that technology is just a tool. It is what we do with it that makes life fulfilling. Watch the ad below.