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Entries in SenseCam (9)


Lifelogging Defined: You needn't wear a camera!

I was recently asked if I was still lifelogging even though I said I was not bothering to wear a camera. Similarly, Chris Anderson made comments that he doesn't lifelog. This prompted some clarification.

LIFELOGGING, the Bell-Gemmell definition is RECORDING (and saving) EVRYTHING.

  • Whether something e.g. continuous time lapse photos, voice, video is recorded is: 1. techno economics plus can you do it;  2.  a matter of utility (i.e. personal economics is gain worth the pan), and 3. legality.  I never felt the SenseCam sequences were particular useful YET and I only used it for about 150  x 5 to 8 hours . Technology i.e. storage has to be essentially zero to want to retain the 20 plus Terabytes that is required for life and this may come when the imager has everything and the software to make it useful to aid memory recall.
  • Gemmell’s company, Trov records and maintains a history of all of one’s stuff for insurance, valuation, trading, sale, etc. is a great example that lifelogging is increasing, not decreasing.
  • More than ever being able to retrieve everything in life that “matters” is more than ever really critical. One aspect, of lifelogging that arose as we finished what amounted to the building of MyLifeBits, according to Bush’s Memex Blueprint was that personal info became distributed everywhere i.e. FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, bank, broker, etc. In this regard, a UK company, Digi.Me does scrape and maintain all of these data. I am an investor.  Also Evernote claims 100 Mega users... and OneNote similarly facilities storing everything
  • Finally, I do my best to record every heart beat as I commented earlier 
  • So bottom line,
    • SenseCam streams: don’t bother unless you have nothing in your life, although these tiny worn cameras do record interesting sequences for walks and meetings where you want to remember everyone. Things couldchange if audio recording weren't so illegal and socially unacceptable.
    • Your Stuff (use Trov): Yes keep track of valuable stuff cause you are its caretaker;
    • All  written and read and said communication: by all means including phone calls and general conversation if that becomes legal and socially acceptable;
    • Financial, and legal including personal transactions: Absolutely;
    • Physical activity and health: yes especially if you have a chronic health condition like everyone in the US AND are able to benefit by it (I'm on my 2nd bypass and 3rd pacemaker.

Here’s a comment I made to clarify issue of lifelogging and recording images.

We defined lifelogging to be the recording of every aspect of one's life including messages, photos, phone calls, and the constant imaging using the SenseCam for the purpose of memory recall, health, education, personal management, etc.   Unfortunately, the world focused on lifelogging to mean the constant recording of images--something I haven't found useful to do. Nevertheless I see an eventual path to such a future.  Meanwhile the world seems to be taking more pictures than ever, especially of themselves with smartphones.  Personally I still never delete anything that comes through my computer and consider this eMemory, the ground truth while using my bioMemory for URL and meta-data to it. 

Furthermore, about when our book, Total Recall, came out in 200, the  QS -Quantified Self groups started forming and today seems stronger than ever. I tend to define QS is a subset of lifelogging. 


Memoto lifelogging wearable camera with GPS

Memeto now has a functional prototype of their wearable lifelogging camera. It takes pictures on a timer (2 per minute), and includes the location of the picture via GPS. Memoto follows in the footsteps of SenseCam, but its size makes it much less of an "I'm a huge geek" fashion statement, while the location is absolutely critical aspect of one's memory (and is vital for finding things).

Memeto fits GPS, 8GB of flash memory, 5 megapixel resolution, 2 days of battery life, and a micro-USB port all in its 36x36x9mm package. They will roll out smartphone software as well as web-based storage.


Autographer: the latest incarnation of the SenseCam

The SenseCam, a wearable automatic camera invented by Lyndsay Williams when she was at MSR Cambridge, was a big factor in MyLifeBits and helped us form many of the insights for Your Life, Uploaded. It made its commerical debut as the Vicon Revue with very few changes to its design and targeted at memory loss patients. Now OMG has updated its look and function for consumers and released it as the Autographer.

Like the original SenseCam, it has a fixed-focus, fish-eye lens to capture your experience without worrying much about where it is pointed. The autographers has these sensors: 

  • a light level sensor, so that when you change scene, such as walking through a doorway, it can take a picture of the new room
  • a passive infrared sensor so that person (a warm body) can trigger a picture
  • an accelerometer, so that when it jiggles it can avoid taking a blurry picture (and motion can indicate photo opportunities)
  • magnetomorer: detects changes in direction, like a compass does
  • temperature: temperature can signal a change worth snapping a picture (and enables a record of your environment)
  • GPS: to record your location

Pictures are taken with a 5 megapixel low light sensor, which hopefully makes it much better at indoor photography than the old SenseCam. It has 8GB or storage, bluetooth and both desktop and smartphone apps to handle all the pictures and sensor values.



SenseCam walk in California Hills

A walk through the hills of California, captured by SenseCam.


Vicon Revue (SenseCam) now with 3MPixels and 8GB

Vicon has announced a new version of the Revue with more resolution (3MP), more storage (8GB) and a lower price (£299). It is due to ship in August.

The Revue is based on the Microsoft Research SenseCam, invented by Lyndsay Williams.

See the Revue website for more details.