Category Archives: Total Recall

iPhone 5s even better for life-logging

The recently-announced iPhone 5S includes an M7 coprocessor, which means that life-logging apps can now do their thing without being such battery hogs. The M7 “knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving” and it can track activity without requiring the power-hungry A7 chip that is used for regular applications.  Nike has announced Nike+ Move as the first app to take advantage of the M7.


Tagged , , ,

Wearable Computing Pioneer Says Google Glass Offers “Killer Existence”

thad-google-glassOther people opine. Thad Starner knows from years of experience.

Few gadgets have generated as much excitement and hostility as Google Glass, a voice-activated computer-monitor combo worn on eyeglass frames. Now being tested by early adopters, Glass is an ambitious attempt to advance “wearable computing.” It’s also a milestone for Thad Starner, a Georgia Tech professor who has been building and wearing head-mounted computers since 1993. A decade ago, he showed Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin a clunky version of such a device; in 2010 they hired Starner to be a technical lead for Project Glass.

Full article at MIT Technology Review


Don Was with Bob Dylan: the impact of recording conversation

What will happen in society if more conversations are recorded? Conversations are the most sensitive topic in life-logging, and it seems likely that in most societies conversation recording will remain frowned upon – if not downright illegal. Still, there are some attractions. Don’t you sometimes wish you had a recording of the advice your doctor dispensed at the end of your last visit? Many a spouse has a longed for evidence of what was really said in an argument. And grandparents will hit “replay” many times on that oh-so-adorable utterance of a toddler.
Here’s an interesting anecdote from a place you might well expect to be recorded in – a recording studio. Even so, I’m not sure whether this conversational recording was legal.  Maybe Don Was could have sued over it, but what he actually did was learn and grow as a person. He learned “don’t rehash the past” – but a recording of the past taught him the lesson.
Apparently an assistant engineer recorded all of Was’ conversations with Dylan, thinking that Don would appreciate having them. But when he listened to them, he was appalled. He clearly recalls at least one thing on those tapes: “(I heard) Bob standing at the piano telling me something that he wanted to do, and me telling him why it wasn’t gonna work…  I didn’t even let him try the thing out! It might have been the greatest thing ever, and I sort of thwarted him. If I was Bob Dylan, I would have gone home and said, ‘Don’t ever bring that guy around me again!’”
He continues: “I was so ashamed of myself. I was thinking like… like a fan. ‘Man, I loved Highway 61, it’d be great if he did something else like Highway 61!’ So, I’m trying to get him back to something, and he’s trying to look forward and do something different. Which is what you’re supposed to do! You’re not supposed to just imitate yourself, you’re supposed to do something new, that challenges you.”
But he took it as a learning experience of sorts: “It’s a lesson to everybody. It’s larger than producing records. Don’t be that way in life. Don’t keep repeating the same old things. Be present in each new moment, don’t rehash the past.  So I don’t think I was of great service to Bob Dylan.”
Tagged , , ,

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!


ImageAvailable in “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 andanother article about competitor Lapka.


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.

Memoto lifelogging wearable camera with GPS

Tagged , , ,

Autographer: the latest incarnation of 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, UploadedIt 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. It 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.

Tagged , ,