Thursday, 30 August 2012

lifelogging

Ever since I read the book “total recall” I have been interested in the concept of life-logging. More specifically, the act of digitally preserving and logging my everyday life. On one level this is an enormous project, just think of all the information we consume and create in any given 24 hours. Where to begin?

I suppose the first thing to do is to work out the precise definitions of all the terms I see being thrown around. Life logger, lifecaster, lifestreamer, blogger, archiver. What do they all mean and how do they fit into what I want to achieve?

I guess that what I want to achieve is some sort of timeline on to which all my recordable activity is posted automatically. I can then go back and access this information at any time in my future. For example: I went on a holiday 5 years ago which I really enjoyed. I will be re-visiting the place later this year and would like to dine in that nice restaurant I found but I can’t remember what it was called. No problem, I could access my lifestream for 2007 and scan through it to see what places I dined at and then, once i’ve found the place I was thinking about I could go to the website to see what the menu is like nowadays. This is just one, frivolous, example of what I would like to do with a lifelog. Maybe I have been accused of something and I want to check what I actually said or did before I decide whether to defend myself or accept the accusation as true. The uses of a lifelog are many and can range from the frivolous up to the very serious.

I’m liking the way things are moving in the tech world towards my goal of having my life logged and enhanced by technology. the announcement of google glass project, the withings scales to name but two.

Something that has been occupying my thoughts recently is the question “how active am I really?” To this end, I started googling for pedometers and came across something called a “Fitbit”. This caught my eye. I have been looking for some kind of wearable device that can automatically track my daily activity, not just exercise but all activity, record it and automatically upload it to a website where I can analyse the data to see where I am doing well or failing as the case may be!! I may invest in one of these, along with the withings wi-fi scales I mentioned earlier. All i need now is something that will track my swimming activity as I do it! Anybody got any suggestions? Please let me know in the comments.

I think that a true lifelog has to be able to record almost everything in my daily life and allow me to access it at some future date. I would love for this to be done seamlessly and with minimal effort on my part.

My research is only just beginning on this subject. I wonder if anyone has already done anything like this? Perhaps you are already lifelogging, or, like me, thinking about how to go about it? maybe we can get in touch and figure this thing out together?