The relationship between your senses and memory recall is well known, even if it’s not necessarily well understood. You have almost certainly experienced this yourself when a particular scent transports you back to your childhood home, or a certain song evokes a memory from a past relationship. While the past may just be a story we tell ourselves, our senses are an integral part of that story. reMi is a surreal mixture of sound and tangible structure designed to amplify those stories.
reMi was created by researchers from the MIT Media Lab and the MIT Department of Architecture. While most of the research from MIT that we cover is focused on practical technology, reMi is more art than anything else. Each reMi piece is a sheet of precisely folded paper that is overlaid with circuity. It can record the ambient sound in a room, and then play it back while the paper moves like animated origami.
The idea is that reMi provides a more vivid nostalgic experience than sound alone. The user can feel the memory moving in their hands, and watch it pulsate on a wall. The paper can be folded in many different ways to create distinct feelings, and it animates in synchronization with the recorded sound or music. It’s entirely debatable whether that actually improves memory recall or not, but it certainly appears to be an interesting way to try.