Search Blog

The e-memory revolution is changing everything.

Be part of the conversation.


Extreme Lifelogging (EL) of Everything Seen and Heard: Update, Speculation, and Ubiquitous Souveillance = Maximum Surveillance

With all the cameras aimed at continuous personal recording that Steve Mann called Sousveillance, it seems certain that “Extreme Lifelogging” by 2020 is certain—a prediction I made in 2010.  Whether Extreme Lifelogging (EL), or for that matter, any technology becomes a useful product or service is based on three factors: Can it be done? Is it proven to be useful i.e. does anyone want it at that price? And is it legal?  Until now, only a few of us were exploring whether it was useful for anything other than the creation of research papers including human interest stories about weird looking people. Only a few thousand cameras capable of near EL existed and were in use including a few being used for research to aid people with impaired memory. EL with images and AUDIO recording for everything we see and hear are yet to be available and in wide use by consumers, unless they are recording video. The recording of conversations, particularly phone conversations is certainly prevalent for commercial purposes, yet there is little real use of audio aka voice recording beyond video coming from glasses- or spy-cams. Audio recording is barely legal in some areas--but this will all change if and when the new generation marked by Google Glass (GG) come into use.

Generally overlooked is that a number of police forces are being equipped with high quality, personal video recorders attached to a patrol person or their car. me not discuss this because hundreds of articles, blogs, books, lawsuits, papers, and TV programs (including a real TV program of arrests) have been and will be devoted to this.  Needless to say, because these devices are small, have to work and deliver reliable results, the engineering of this equipment is something that should be the envy of extreme lifelogggers. Watch, sunglasses, shirt button, etc.  embedded video spy cameras are plentiful at less than $100 for surreptitious recording.  Ironically, while sousveillance is also thought of as the inverse of surveillance, with pervasive and ubiquitous recording by everything by everybody, we will reach having the ultimate, full scale surveillance

Happily for those of us who believe there  may be a utility of various facets of lifelogging this is all about to change brought about by cameras like the “Go Pro” still/video camera for sports.  Smartphones e.g. iPhone host a plethora of time lapse photo and video apps that are only limited by imagination and battery life. Two SenseCam inspired devices from Autographer and Memoto are in the process of being engineered for introduction. All these devices will end up costing about $400 depending on whether there is some sort of service subscription for image storage., a company  I invested in, hosts video and time lapse photos from these sources as well has web cams. 

Google Glass (GG) is the device that has drawn the most attention for several reasons: it is more than a video camera and mic mounted on the frame of a glasses; it has a  speaker and display evolved from Thad Starner’s years of experience and displays; and finally it is a platform for apps.  Already three Silicon Valley venture funds have formed the Glass Collective to support startup companies who will use GG as a component for apps. Thus, it is a safe bet that a significant app will emerge from so many tries.

I would like to place an optimistic bet that within 5 years, there will be 10 million GGs in use when priced at a few hundred dollars. In mid May 2013, one of the market research firm estimated 10M by 2015.

Alternatively, if someone has a more optimistic feeling and is willing to bet 2 years and just 2 million units, I’d take the conservative side—the side I usually win on.


Zephyr bio-logging products track heart, breathing, and movement

Zephyr makes some interesting bio-logging products. Their harness tracks "medical-grade ECG, as well as heart rate, breathing rate, and 3-axis accelerometery." You can also use a shirt, and add an optional GPS. Here's what they say about their shirts:

Zephyr's Team BioHarness 3 Compression Shirts were designed specifically for the BioHarness system. Available in a variety of sizes, these shirts are uniquely designed to make connecting your BioHarness a snap! Simply pop the sensor directly into the chest receptacle.

The Team Compression Shirts currently support the following measurements: - Heart Rate - Heart Rate Recovery - Heart Rate Variability - Accelerometry - Intensity & Load - GPS Sensors (GPS Receiver sold separately)

Note:Respiration is currently not supported by the Team Compression Shirt. If you need support for Respiration measurement, take a look at the BioHarness 3 Side Strap!




Available "Summer 2013," CubeSensors are "small, cordless and connected devices that continuously measure temperature, humidity, noise, light, air quality and barometric pressure."

See TechCrunch for a nice article about them and another article about competitor Lapka


Techonomy2012 Bell Interview by David Kirkpatrick

David does an on stage interview while I note that my heart rate increases while we talk about lifelogging and the Quantitative Self movement. See it


How Memory Works: 10 Things Most People Get Wrong

See the article in PsyBlog

This is an intersting and stimulating article when viewed against our belief that users will have a lifetime external store for everything, thus changing the load and function of memory. The article is devoid of the fact that electronic memories are really taking over many of the jobs that would have been done by people with amazing memories e.g. librarians.

Here are the 10--

1. Memory does not decay

2. Forgetting helps you learn (for organizing more recent stuff)

3. 'Lost' memories can live again

4. Recalling memories alters them

5. Memory is unstable

6. The foresight bias

7. When recall is easy, learning is low

9. Memory, reloaded

8. Learning depends heavily on context

10. Learning is under your control