New Dimensions in Story Preservation

New Dimensions in Story Preservation
July 16, 2015 webadmin

No annoying glasses needed for this breakthrough in 3D technology. A team at USC has been hard at work with their New Dimensions in Testimony initiative, with highly successful results. This holographic display is a product of recording “testimony in a way that will continue the dialogue between Holocaust survivors and learners far into the future” (New Dimensions in Testimony, 2015).

How is this accomplished? Testimony is recorded and a series of questions are answered, all using highly advanced image capturing technology. Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter was the initiative’s first test subject. It took 30+ hours and 6,000 lights to record Gutter’s narrative and responses to over 3,000 questions. Responses were then plugged into an algorithm, similar to Siri, which enables the audience to interact with Gutter. To say the result is extraordinary would be putting it lightly. The interaction this initiative has created, the feeling as if Gutter himself is sitting beside you, creates an extremely personal and memorable experience. Most importantly, it allows for one of the last remaining Holocaust stories to be timeless.

Never Forget lives on.

This story is especially apropos for me as my family and I recently celebrated the life of my 89 year old grandmother, Maria. My grandmother came to age in Germany during WWII and as a result she suffered incredible loss. Like others of the time, she fled on foot, leaving family and friends behind. It’s a harrowing story that she rarely spoke of, a story that I’ll never hear in its entirety since she passed away earlier this month.

It is stories like my grandmother’s, and others we’ve heard and continue to hear at Story For All, that make us truly thankful for technological breakthroughs in storytelling. We look forward to the day when the personal experience of story preservation is available to the public. Until then, many thanks to USC and the New Dimensions in Testimony team!

For more on this technology and Gutter’s recording, see The Today Show’s excerpt here.

Image courtesy of