Virtual Reality ‘Time Machine’ Made with 365 Days of Video

San Francisco-based inventor and speaker Lucas Rizzotto has built a virtual reality “time machine” that allows him to relive his past. And while “time machine” is, of course, just a moniker, Rizzotto’s invention still allows him to experience his recent life in a way that, most likely, nobody else ever has. A way that allows Rizzotto to view 365 days worth of stereoscopic video through a virtual reality “portal” in time.

Rizzotto, who’s created other amazing projects before—like the AR chemistry table at bottom—recently posted the above video to YouTube. The time machine was posted only with the simple, relatable phrase, “Screw 2020, time to go back.” Which is a true enough sentiment, but doesn’t hint at the enormous amount of work that went into building the VR time machine.

To create his portal in time, Rizzotto wore Snap Spectacles—Snapchat glasses that record high-resolution stereoscopic 3D video—for a full year, while traveling the globe. Along with recording a year’s worth of video, a task that required a small mountain of hard drives, Rizzotto also developed the software that would allow him to navigate it. Which, for about three months, seemed like it was going to be an impossible task thanks to an apparent loss of metadata.

Virtual Reality 'Time Machine' Made with 365 Days of Video_1

Lucas Builds the Future

“It’s really hard to describe the feeling you get, reliving your own past,” Rizzotto says in the video as he navigates his memories. He adds that “You don’t just see the memory portal, you see everything around it, like the rush of memories you get when you smell food you used to eat as a child.”

Perhaps the most intriguing, and haunting, feeling Rizzotto describes in the video is that of feeling like his “own ghost, watching [himself] wandering through life with no idea of what [is] going to happen next.” Which is unfortunate, because we really want to know what project Rizzotto is working on now.

Feature image: Lucas Builds the Future 

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