Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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deja vu home

remembrance of times past
  (+57, -7)(+57, -7)(+57, -7)
(+57, -7)
  [vote for,

Hidden microphones and speakers in the walls loop sounds from a week ago superimposed on the current day. (And maybe the week before, at 1/2 the volume, and so on.)

Even if you're living alone, there would be a stampede of your old selves trudging into the kitchen around 7:30 am, turning on one more in an ocean of softly sloshing coffee machines...

(Thanks to [hippo] for the name and the inspiration.)


[kimby]: there could be a half-life setting where after x number of days, half of the sounds generated on a particular day in the past would have decayed into oblivion. Others might persist for much longer. You could do a sort of sonar equivalent of carbon dating on your own life. Holograms would be even better.

[syost]: this warrants a separate idea, having something to do with the special ability of the main character of the movie Brother From Another Planet: with a certain effort he could sense all the human history of the place where he stood -- particularly poignant at Ellis Island (erstwhile starting point for many US immigrants).

Maybe a video camera pointing to a public spot snapping still pictures every minute, with a big monitor nearby, with this effect? A long feedback loop would be more interesting. Frippertronics for video.

[reensure] Pictures from home would add a nostalgic and commercial value to the plan. After a period of absence, the house could syndicate the last loop of eclectic recording through public channels. Soap may be replaced by 'interpining' or the love of one empty home for another.

Kudos to [hippo] for suggesting to use sounds from a week ago, not from a day ago.

jutta, Aug 08 2000

Film Noir Home http://www.halfbake.../Film_20Noir_20Home
deja vu home started out as an annotation to Film Noir Home. [jutta, Aug 08 2000]

photographic mirror http://www.halfbake...otographic_20mirror
Furniture [jutta, Aug 08 2000]

Geocorder http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/geocorder
"Voices from the past" are accessible anywhere with Geocorder! [miles, Feb 08 2002]

(?) Light of Other Days http://www.scifi.co...ive/shaw/shaw1.html
by Bob Shaw [zen_tom, May 24 2007]


       This is not constructive criticism, but I think that if someone wired my house like that and then suddenly turned it on, I would just cry and cry and cry. Imagine what it'd be like after you broke up with someone.
mcfrank, Aug 08 2000

       Of course, mcfrank, many people would become so depressed by the dull, repetitive tedium of their dead-end existence which the deja vu home would reveal that they'd be driven to suicide. However, think of all those other people who would use the deja vu home as a catalyst for change in their life, cease living the same day over and over again and live each day as it comes. I think that would make it all worthwhile.

It gets my croissant vote anyway.
hippo, Aug 09 2000

       Deja Vu Film Noir Home: "I sat alone in the bedroom. With every week that passed since she left me the squeaking of the bedsprings grew steadily quieter."
hippo, Aug 14 2000

       I hate to burst anyone's artistic bubble but realistically this idea is crazy. It would be enough to drive someone mad. Why on earth would anyone want to hear themselves over and over again? I don't even like the sound of my voice let alone hearing something I said a week ago...again, and again. Where are you going with this idea? Would you really find it soothing? For me it would be spooky or at the very least annoying. I just don't see the benefit of something like this.
genuine, Nov 28 2000

       Soothing? No, certainly not. It would be an interactive art project (for an audience of one), not something intended to be "soothing" or "beneficial" in an immediate sense.   

       It would be an investigation into the nature of memory. Sounds from a week ago come up and remind you, just like memories float to the top sometimes. Sounds from the past would merge and soften, just like old memories grow fuzzy.   

       The new form of memory would make its subject more aware of how one is spending one's life. That's a worthy goal, I think.
jutta, Dec 01 2000

       Hooking up your house to a different, random, "Deja Vu Home" in your neighbourhood every day would give you (besides tantalising glimpses into strangers' lives) the "Jamais Vu Home".
hippo, May 21 2001

       This reminds me of a chapter in Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool Aid Acid Test... they wire up a forest (I'm not making this up) with loads of mics, each with a different delay built in. These all braodcast through a sound system hidden in the trees.....take acid and go for a wander.   

       No thanks; I'll pass.
Spidergoat, May 21 2001

       genuine -- I for one would really love the deja vu house. The randomness of memory is a wonderful catalyst for ideas. This would be something like running across old notes I've written to myself.   

       I mean, people take video of themselves and their families on purpose, and usually get crummy shots of uninteresting things. This could actually preserve some really good stuff.   

       So a slight enhancement would make this really useful; add a feature to save anything that you still think is really cool after two weeks. The system automatically edits together a "best of 2001" video which you can ship out to your friends and family at Christmas time.
camshaft, Sep 27 2001

       this would be really good for the incidents that we tag as "you will laugh at this one day" - like when you fell down the stairs, or you got really drunk and snogged somebody inappropriate or in the middle of a really bad argument you yelled at the carolsingers to "and you can b******r off as well!
po, Sep 28 2001

       On the plus side it would be great to hear over and over a night of mad passionate love making. It would also be a burglar deterant hearing your sounds all the time.   

       On the minus side I would hate to hear middle of the night trips to the bathroom and the passing of gas or that pesky mosquito in my ear on a hot summer night.
pinkpanties, Sep 28 2001

       What about the feedback effect? As ridiculous as this sounds, I'd love to build something like this-- I can leave notes to myself by speaking now, and I'll hear them again in a week, by which time I'll have forgotten saying them. But how do I get new recordings not to include the audio from old replayed recordings?
Hypnagogic, Jan 12 2002

       I can't hear myself think. Would that I had turned my music down, please.
st3f, Jan 12 2002

       Half-awake the other night I had a strange dream which I thought at the time would be the perfect HalfBakery idea. On reflection it's not, but I thought it might be worth an annotataion here:
This would be a service which would phone you up and, when you answer the phone, play a minute of silence down the phone at you. On subsequent days it would play the recording of you being silent from the previous day's phonecall.
The purpose of this would be to prompt you to take a minute out of your busy day just to sit and reflect, meditatively. By playing the previous day's 'silent' phonecall back to you you would be reminded of how you had done this the previous day and how it had calmed you/ helped you to resume your work with renewed enthusiasm, etc.
hippo, Feb 08 2002

       Baked as a deja vue statue. An artist made a statue (of some sort) that recorded sounds, and played them back at random intervals. This was placed in the lobby of the board of directors. First they all loved the statue. Later they had the statue removed when it appeared to uncover soundbites that should have remained secret.
spekkie, Feb 08 2002

       I'd like to see a link for that spekkie - it sounds too much like an urban myth I came across a while back.   

       (aside - if you compressed the data to MP3 (bitrate 128kbps stereo) on the fly you get about a meg of data a minute from music. Admittedly you'd probably get much better compression in the deja vue home due to long silences but using this figure for the moment, you'd need about 10GB of storage space to loop a week for one room.)
st3f, Feb 08 2002

       With 40G HDDs going for close to $100 right now, you could hold a month worth for not too much money, at that estimate.
mwburden, Feb 08 2002

       st3f - your comment about compressing an MP3 "on the fly" actually sent my mind in another direction. What if the recordings of events in the house were made by either a generic brand housefly wired for sound or a mechanical fly of some description a la "if I could be a fly on the wall"?
grackle, Jun 03 2002

       //there could be a half-life setting//   

       You mean Black Mesa, crawling with various flavours of alien?
NickTheGreat, Jun 03 2002

       //What about the feedback effect? As ridiculous as this sounds, I'd love to build something like this-- I can leave notes to myself by speaking now, and I'll hear them again in a week, by which time I'll have forgotten saying them. But how do I get new recordings not to include the audio from old replayed recordings?//   

       This wouldn't be a problem if the sounds are replayed at half-volume. A replayed sound that gets recorded again will then be at quarter-volume next time it's replayed, and so on.
imaginality, Oct 24 2006

       Great idea! [+]   

       //But how do I get new recordings not to include the audio from old replayed recordings?//   

       Since the playback system and the recording system are linked, it could use sound cancellation to cancel out the broadcast audio from the newly recorded audio.
MoreCowbell, Oct 25 2006

       // various flavours of alien // MMMM Alien...
MoreCowbell, Oct 27 2006

       Not good if theres a death in the family, or an argument.
Voice, May 24 2007

       It's better to move forward in life than to dwell on (or in) the past. Plus, I think repetitive deja vu would be a scary thing.
quantum_flux, Dec 27 2007

       I think I've seen this before...
egbert, Dec 28 2007


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