Imagine a huge 1000-page book where each page is brimming with numbers - the initial 100,000 digits of Pi (π). Holding the book, the President of The World Pi organization calls out a random string of 9 digits. Your job is to identify them in your memory and recall the 9 digits that come before and then the 9 after. Then picture doing this 50 consecutive times without a single error.
In reality, you might not even be able to recall the first 9.
This is an actual challenge, Olympus Mons of Memory, named after the tallest planetary mountain on Mars. In this challenge, on March the 10th 2020, the 2X World Memory Champion Jonas von Essen defied most people's understanding, having recalled all sequences faultlessly.
Interestingly, Jonas began about where you are now. Prior to developing memorization skills he was struggling to remember simple things and now, he is paving the path for human memory. His mission is to shatter glass ceilings, which dogmatically tend to view humans with many memory limitations.
At this point, he became well-known for his accomplishments including getting a rare golden buzzer at Sweden Got Talent, winning against the national Сhinese team at the Super Brain TV Show, and winning the “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” earlier this year. Jonas was also featured in BBC, The New York Times, Independent, The Telegraph, and The Times.
In all these contexts, however, Jonas tries to keep himself in the background since what is terrific about his skills is that anyone can learn them. After shining in memory sports, he decided to give back. Jonas began sharing his memorization techniques with the rest of the world and later united with Alex Ruzhytskyi to co-found memoryOS - an edtech startup with a mission to make excellent memorization skills the new norm.
We believe that memorization is as essential as reading and writing and should be taught as a fundamental skill. Because our current educational system fails to do so – this leads to a lot of student stress and consecutively to what’s called “having a bad memory.”
This is why memoryOS has been initiated on its creators' pure enthusiasm and a desire to bear positive changes into the world. We have made it our mission for the memorization skills to become a new norm. Our company is developing innovative gamified e-learning software to help people significantly improve their memory.
game component of memoryOS (iOS, Android & Web app)
A few years later, we were able to develop a proof of concept prototype that has also proved that hippocampus functions in virtual reality just as well as it does in physical reality. memoryOS had their vision reaffirmed as the 2014 Nobel Prize proved that the hippocampus, a seahorse shaped brain region which is responsible for encoding new memories, also serves as our brain’s GPS. Our experimental prototype has proved that it is possible to transfer storage space (virtual mind palaces) inside users’ minds while they are getting taught how to use it through a video game. Before passing the proof of concept stage, we continuously performed closed tests and measured the results to improve our technology's mechanics. On average, our participants had an increase of 275% in correct recall compared to their prior results. These were people of different ages, not familiar with memory techniques, including those without gaming experience. For now, we are careful as to claiming the specific improvement rate, since these tests were not public and had less than 200 participants. Larger public studies with independent observers will certainly be performed soon. We are currently waiting for a green light from our patent attorney after passing a certain milestone.
The patenting of memoryOS technology and product development is currently in progress with a goal to make it public in the Fall of 2021. The new memoryOS technology “implants” a ready to use virtual Mind Palace, just like Sherlock’s. Mind Palace is a fundamental memory enhancement technique which is used as a storage space for long-term memories by all memory champions.
Leveraging the current state of technology, we combine our innovation with the teaching of proven memory techniques through the most effective online education mechanics. This imbibes interactive e-learning, micro-lessons, and tests created and taught by our co-founder, Jonas von Essen himself.
memoryOS will enable different segments of people to have structured memory, increase their memory capacity and remember things really fast and effortlessly. Students will be able to ace exams with calmness and graduate with confidence. Working professionals can learn speeches, names, pass qualification exams, and recall passwords with certainty. Adults will decrease the uncomfortable “I don't remember moments” from their daily lives and also present their kids with an opportunity to lay the foundation for effective and stress-free education from an early age. The perks of having a well-enabled memory are something elderly adults can utilize to get the little things right without a doubt - dates, names, faces, and everything important.
It brings joy that our startup is supported by The Stephen Hawking Foundation and many other prominent groups. Likewise, we are grateful for our community's engagement, which helps by giving active feedback to our implementations. We had over 300 very insightful, personal conversations with people about the importance and issues of memorization. More than 6400 people (and counting) have joined our Early Adopters Community. We’ve also onboarded first investor/advisor: Bas Godska, rated #1 Dutch Angel Investor (Crunchbase), #1 Foreign Angel Investor CIS (EWDN), and “One of the most prolific Western investors in Eastern Europe” by Techcrunch and CrunchBase (May 2020). Startups where he invested (pre-)seed are now jointly worth nearly $4 billion.
To help spread a word about memoryOS we will soon launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign where our early backers can pre-purchase yearly access to memoryOS at significant discounts while helping us to accelerate product development.
Our Early Adopters waiting list is now open and you can sign up at memoryOS.com. It's a free registration that takes under 10 seconds to complete.
Let's continue to unite and give people a chance to witness and believe they, too, can improve themselves in any aspect and break illusional mental limits!
Let’s #MakeTheWorldRemember that #OurMindsAreLimitless
On March 7, 2020, Jonas challenged the World Record of the most digits of Pi recited. The main rule was - Jonas can not make a single error. Jonas was recalling all the numbers of Pi in the right order and was always under the supervision of two witnesses present in the room as well as the chairman of the Pi World Ranking List.
Jonas was using “voice to text” software that translates his voice into numbers to avoid cramps by typing all the digits by hand. The algorithm of recalling the numbers was as follows:
- Jonas speaks a batch of 5,000 digits
- He goes through these 5,000 digits visually to double-check for errors
- He submits the numbers
The official rules for a Pi record attempt are available via the link: http://www.pi-world-ranking-list.com/index.php?page=rules
The chairman of the Pi World Ranking List Jan van Koningsveld was an official judge and patron of this world record attempt.
As a result - Jonas von Essen is now officially #1 in Europe and the West in general with the result of 24,063 digits of Pi recalled. It is noteworthy that this was the first case of World Record, which was accompanied by video recording and accessible to people around the world via a live stream that got over 178,000 video views, 113,727 minutes of watched time and 6,123 chat messages across the streamed channels within the 21 hr 58 min streamed time.
In the Extreme Pi Matrix Challenge - the Olympus Mons of Memory, Jonas had to recall a string of 9 digits before and 9 digits after the randomly pronounced series within the 100,000 digits of the Pi book, he got up to a 22 streak in a row, which has never been done before. After taking one day of rest, the Olympus Mons of Memory was conquered, and Jonas got a streak of 50 in a row! No human ever has got even close to such a result! This is an Ultimate Pi World Record.
Pi World Ranking List is the organization in charge of all the Official Pi Memory Records. The Olympus Mons Extreme Pi Matrix challenge was regulated and controlled by: Idriz Zogaj, (Swedish Memory Sports Council); Florian Minges, (Swedish Memory Sports Council); Qendresa Hamiti, (Arbiter); and Jan van Koningsveld, (The Chairman of the Pi World Ranking List).
It was indeed an impressive run. Many more accomplishments are waiting ahead. After some rest, Jonas will keep practicing to reach the desired destination of 100,000 decimals of Pi recited. On our side, we will have more time to prepare, so the overall set and settings of the live stream event will be as good as they can get.
We are grateful to our partners for showing their support and sharing this cause with the World: The Stephen Hawking Foundation, Big Think, Flammable Maths, Life Through a Mathematician's Eyes, Chilled Cow, Epic Maths Time, The Swedish Memory Sports Council, The Pi World Ranking List and Sweden’s National Museum of Science and Technology and of course to Restream.io for enabling the multistream.
We are looking forward to bringing positive changes in human memory and letting the world see that the human mind has no boundaries. Let's continue to unite and give people a chance to witness and believe they, too, can improve themselves in any aspect and break illusional mental limits!
Let’s #MakeTheWorldRemember that #OurMindsAreLimitless
We are thrilled to announce that Jonas von Essen is currently in status “deeply immersed in the Ocean of Pi …” reciting over 100,000 decimals of Pi, to break the current world record of 70,030! Jonas is confident he will break the 100,000 digit barrier in the first days of March, before Pi Day 3/14/2020 (which is also now the official International Day of Mathematics). Opening a door of possibilities for all humans to realize they are, too, all a part of this journey in reaching our fullest potentials.
While preparing, his physical body takes short breaks to eat and sleep, it’s breathtaking to imagine what his mind is continuously going through having to encode, store and recall so many random digits in the right order without a single error. His mind, like no one else’s, is currently being connected to the endless realms of our mathematical universe. In Carl Sagan’s novel Contact, it is suggested that the creator of the universe buried a message deep within the digits of π, so who knows...
Breaking the 100,000 digit barrier of π is mesmerizing to fathom and witness. The traction created will generate more exposure in bridging the gap between what we think we can do with the human brain and what is possible. Of its significance, Pi Day will be celebrated in school systems and by mathematicians and scientists around the world. This year, with a new achievement by Jonas, a World Record in the “World’s Toughest Memory Challenge.” Maintaining a great memory starts with the best method of practice, consistency, and of course, having a valid teacher. These thoughts fueled Jonas as he set on a journey much more spectacular that one could have ever imagined.
Being a Swedish superstar, Jonas von Essen is, at times, referred to as the “Rain Man,” as many people think he was born with a ‘different/unique’ brain. Luckily, for all of us, this is not the case. After over 20 years of having a mediocre memory, he had managed, in only a few months of training, to improve it so dramatically that he was awarded the title “Sweden’s Sharpest Memory.”
And from there, it went on. Jonas started competing internationally and rapidly climbed the world rankings, encouraged by fast extension of his skills and the warm and friendly atmosphere among the memory contestants. A few months later, he took part in his first World Memory Championship in London, where he shot up from nowhere and took the overall bronze medal.
The year after that, he increased his training to several hours each day and went on winning competition after competition until finally reaching the top position at that year’s World Memory Championship. A feat he repeated the next year, winning his second World Memory Champion title in China.
Jonas has taken part in British documentaries, Chinese TV shows, commercials in Australia, helped Charles Darwin University create a memory course, and was hired to train national memory teams who consequently showed sensational results. Featured in BBC, The New York Times, Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, and on various other news & blog sites.
The memory improvement market is increasing, as people are continually searching for new ways and people who help inspire them to better their memory and teach them how to learn.
We are looking forward to bringing new changes in this and letting the world see that the limits of the human brain have no boundaries. Jonas, a co-founder of memoryOS, is ready to step forward on this historic day in surpassing the limits of the human brain, breaking the 100,000 digit barrier of Pi. Taking him about 20 hours of non-stop recall without a single error will very likely make him a Memory Master of the Greatest Status, genuinely unique.
Let's give people a chance to witness and believe they, too, can improve themselves in any aspect and break illusional mental limits! We hope to inspire young people to do better by enhancing their participation in life and society through the live stream connection.
“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by so quickly you hardly catch it going.” Tennessee Williams.