Monday, August 07, 2006


In 1998 Bell, a senior researcher at Microsoft, began digitally capturing his entire life for a project he calls MyLifeBits. First, he scanned his old photographs, research documents and notes. He began recording his meetings and phone calls and cataloguing his new photos and movies he saw. Every e-mail exchange he had was digitally archived, and he started using the company's prototype SenseCam, which he wears around his neck, to automatically snap photos throughout the day.

Bell now documents about one gigabyte of information every month, all of which is stored in a searchable database on his PC. His is a highly manual process, but he expects that in as few as 15 years it will be common to carry nearly all our 'memories' around with us in a single device that will automatically record the sound and video of our daily activities, creating an inventory of the conversations we have, the faces we see and the articles we read. That data would be tied to communications that are already tracked electronically, like e-mail and event calendars, as well as TV shows, movies and other media we take in. The end result: on-demand total recall.

The biggest challenge to Bell's vision is developing the software required to search your memory database effectively.
I like it.

I was thinking a while back how it is now possible to have a small camera in your glasses that would record everything you see during the day and then save it to an iPod like device on your side. At the current iPod video resolution you can get about 2.5 hrs per GB. To save 15 hrs a day would be 6GB. Hard drive space is about 2 GB per $1. So it would cost $3 a day to save everything that you see. For the price of a latte a day, you can now record your entire life.


Update: I also found this BBC article about an HP project to embed a camera in a pair of sunglasses.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.