Beyond Grief

The use of AR glasses as a means of revisiting memories of loved ones has significant potential to aid individuals during the grieving process, potentially improving their mental health and helping them navigate the cycle of grief. By providing a third-person perspective, AR technology can prevent emotional immersion and help individuals to process their feelings in a healthy and constructive way. This may be particularly beneficial for those who are struggling to come to terms with their loss, as it can provide a new and helpful perspective on their memories.


Sharan Mohanadoss Balaguru


Adaora Udoji


The potential use of augmented reality (AR) technology, specifically AR glasses and projections, as a tool for processing grief and revisiting memories of loved ones. The thesis includes two components: the first involves three projections surrounding the user with visuals related to the landscape or architecture, which is spatially relevant to both the user and the one being grieved. The second component is a non-linear, spatial audio structure that includes natural sounds like rain, wind, fire, birds, and trees, along with a meditative voice-over. By utilizing AR technology to create a more immersive and therapeutic experience, users are able to view memories from a third-person perspective, preventing emotional immersion, and engage multiple senses through spatial audio and visuals. The development of AR technology in this field has significant potential to revolutionize the way we deal with grief and loss in the future and contribute to the advancement of mental health and personal well-being.


The five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) are well-known in the field of psychology and have been used to describe the emotional experience of people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Research has explored how memories can play a role in the grieving process and how technology can be used to help individuals through these stages. One study, for example, found that reminiscing about positive memories of the deceased can have a positive impact on the grieving process, helping individuals to find meaning and purpose in their loss. Other research has explored how technology,, can be used to create digital legacies and provide a sense of community and support for those who are grieving. A study was conducted by researchers from the University of Kentucky and published in the journal Death Studies in 2007. The researchers found that individuals who were able to reminisce about positive memories of the deceased reported higher levels of posttraumatic growth (i.e. positive psychological changes after a traumatic event) and a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. In terms of technology, social media and online memorial sites can be used to create digital legacies and provide a sense of community and support for those who are grieving.  

Technical Details

I used advanced digital tools to create realistic digital representations of myself and my father, using a software called Character Creator. Then, I captured motion data of these characters using cutting-edge motion capture technology provided by Optitrack. I then used another software, Motion Builder, to combine the motion data with the digital character models, and returned to Character Creator to add clothing textures to the characters. The final step was bringing the characters into Unreal Engine, where I added further animation to a digital elephant, and then utilized the Meta AR pass-through technology to project the memory onto Oculus Quest Pro. To complete the immersive experience, I sculpted a landscape using a landscape tool and added assets from the Unreal Marketplace. To ensure the audio aspect was just as immersive, I enlisted the help of a voice-over artist skilled in guiding meditations. With the aid of Reaper software, I could manipulate and control the spatial audio in the speakers, resulting in a fully realized, captivating experience.