Author Archives: Oskar K

Narrative Clip Reviews

Narrative Clip Reviews Media

Looking back at the first impressions – Narrative Clip Reviews

We are incredibly happy to see that it’s not just us in the team who loves Narrative and the Narrative Clip. The rapid growth of the user community and users sharing their experiences and their positive feedback and user reviews makes us warm at heart. There’s been Narrative Clips out in the wild since late 2013 and aside of lots of great user reviews, the traditional press has also been overwhelmingly kind in its reviews. It would be impractical to put press reviews together, but we thought we should share some of the best Narrative Clip reviews here.

DigitalTrends_Logo

“The Narrative Clip demonstrates how a simple, easy-to-use, fairly low-tech gadget can enhance your life, by helping you remember all the things – good and bad – that happen.” Les Shu, Digital Trends.

Read the full review from Digital Trends here.

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“The Narrative Clip is the most polished of the wearable lifelogging cameras we’ve looked at to date. [It’s] just as good as I hoped it would be.” Martin Bryant, The Next Web

Read the full review from The Next Web here.

Mashable logo

“Taking a picture is not just admiring something, but creating a diminutive piece that is your own.” Dani Fankhauser, Mashable

Read the full review from Mashable here.

wired_logo

“I now have a flipbook of my friend’s baby pugs frolicking, a capture of a moment that’s not only priceless, but would otherwise not have been purposefully recorded.” Mike Lasky, Wired

Read the full review from Wired here.

slashgear

“Even only having worn the Clip over the course of a few weeks, I found I could look back on some of the earlier moments and be surprised with what memories they jogged.” – Chris Davies, SlashGear

Read the full review from SlashGear here.

Wall-Street-Journal-logo

“Yes, I took gigabytes of boring photos of me sitting in front of a computer at work. But when I took the tiny camera hiking or hanging out with kids, they produced Instagram-worthy shots. (I also discovered surprising uses, like when I scanned my photo log to discover where I’d misplaced my watch.)” Geoffry Fowler, Wall Street Journal

Read the full review from Wall Street Journal here.

business_insider_logo

“Narrative works exactly as advertised — it’s your onboard photographic memory!I imagine this being a pretty indispensable tool for new parents who don’t want to become camera-toting cliches, or for a blogger who wants to capture images from his or her day without being obtrusive or conspicuous.” “For the practically minded, this could be a perfect device for helping you remember things — names, faces, meals, absolutely whatever else.” Dylan Love, Business Insider

Read the full review from Business Insider here.

huff-po-logo

“I owe it all to my favorite new accessory: a Triscuit-sized, wearable camera called the Narrative Clip that automatically snaps a photo every 30 seconds. Yet even more than expanding my memories, I found my own camera companion was actually creating new ones.” Bianca Bosker, Huffington Post

Read the full review from The Huffington Post here.

mobilesyrup

“The iOS and Android apps immediately impress. Even after a week, when memories begin fading, opening the Narrative app on my phone helps recall not only the events, but the emotions, I was feeling at the time.” Daniel Bader, Mobile Syrup

Read the full review from Mobile Syrup here.

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“The mobile app is pretty slick. It’s a breeze to swipe along a ribbon of thumbnails near the bottom and enlarge chosen moments for closer inspection. I’m able to share any of those photos from the app to Facebook and Twitter. [...] These are moments that I would have never thought to take a photo of, but they are part of my existence, now recorded in imagery.” – Ron Harris, Associated Press

Read the full review from Associated Press here.

10 Million Memories

We started Narrative because we wanted to capture more of our moments and access more of our memories. Visual captures of a moment, more often known as photos, are tremendously powerful tools to relive more memories in our minds; so we built an always-on, automatic, wearable camera and an intelligent software for image analysis to go with it. Today we’ve reached an important milestone.

The more photos you take, the more moments you capture. The more moments you capture, the more memories you’ll access. The more memories you’ll access, the more of your identity you will discover and the richer your life will be. With this line of thought in mind – a line of thought that has been instrumental for us during these first two years of development – we are immensely proud and happy to see so many others sharing our vision.

As of today, more than 10,000,000 photos have been uploaded to Narrative. Being an impressively large number as it is, we get even more blown away when noticing it’s only been three months since the first Narrative Clip saw the light of day.

While the vast majority of these 10,000,000 photos are as private to the photographer as any old school photo album, many have been shared with us and the rest of the world. Some of these photos are amazing: unique, never before seen kind if imagery, sometimes artistic in a way not even the photographer expected. Some are blurry, out of focus or with an unexpected disposition. This, in fact, doesn’t matter. At Narrative, a lot of the value is in the quantity of photos, not in the “quality” of a single photo. And we think this number proves we’ll have to reconsider what a “quality photo” is. What is a good photo is only defined by the person looking at that photo to relive a memory. 10,000,000 photos means 10,000,000 possible memories for Narrative users to relive.

Here’s one of my favorites. Show us yours using #10millionmemories

A Lego Moment

A Lego Moment

 

Positive outcome of tests moves Narrative into next stage of shipping

Holiday seasons are always hectic but it feels like this year sets some kind of record. A lot is happening at Narrative even over the the holidays and we figured we should share with you what’s new since last time.

Second batch shipped last week

We shipped another batch of Narrative Clips the week before Christmas and this time mainly to early backers in Europe. As far as we can see, they seem to have arrived as they should, although some of you might still have your unit in transit. We hope you will all get them in your hands as soon as possible!

While waiting, here are some thoughts (and a picture) from three of the earliest users on what it’s like to use Narrative.

Successful delivery from new supplier

Those of you who’ve been following our updates regularly might remember that we awaited a crucial test during the holidays. As has been described in these previous updates, we’ve experienced serious issues with two of our suppliers (mainly the PCB supplier but also the camera module supplier), rendering a yield (i.e. percentage of assembled units passing quality tests) of finalized Clip units far lower than required. This caused costs and heavy delays and forced us to take the long term necessary decision of replacing these suppliers, a replacement that in itself causes additional heavy delays. Here’s a collection of old updates describing all this in detail.

So what’s the status of those suppliers now? Replacing the camera module supplier with a new one is a process under way and in the meantime we keep purchasing components from the old one. Since the issue is in the yield, the only effect of using the old supplier is that we have slightly higher costs than desired (having to discard more units than necessary). The end quality of each unit is not affected and the camera modules are currently not a bottleneck for the short term production.

The major bottleneck has been the PCBs: it’s been the component with the affect highest to the yield. A few days ago our factory received the first batch of PCBs from the new supplier and after surface mounting the components, the new PCBs have been tested to find out if they will render a higher yield or if we will have to look further to resolve the problems.

The outcome was the one we hoped for: the yield of the new PCBs is near 100%, which is great. We can now move to a new phase of shipping and start scaling up production rate to where we need it to be. There is still a three-week lead time to get the new PCB supplier up to speed, but this was accounted for when we adjusted all shipping dates before the holidays. The camera module supplier is also replaced but as described above it’s not a replacement that we see will significantly affect the production rate in either direction.

What this means for you as a Kickstarter backer or pre-order customer is that the shipping date you see on shipping.getnarrative.com still holds. We have no information at this point that indicates further delays. If we get any indications of further delays, we’ll let you know immediately.

We also want to emphasize that the Clips already shipped all have the high quality we demand. Replacing the suppliers will not improve the quality in an individual unit, but render a higher percentage of assembled units to achieve the high quality standards (i.e improve the yield).

About shipping orders

On a related note, some have asked us how we choose who to ship to first. And how it can be that even though you backed us on Kickstarter on the very first day, your delivery is not coming until many weeks after the first batch.

Basically, we have three governing parameters that control the order of shipments:

1. Time of backing on Kickstarter or placing your pre-order. This is the strongest parameter: we ship only Kickstarter pledge reward units right now and, as far as possible, in the individual order that the pledges were made. After these have all been shipped, we will start shipping to pre-order customers. Remember that we had over 1000 backers the first day on Kickstarter, but the so far low production rate has meant that the deliveries of the rewards for these early pledges have been spread out over more than a month (mid-December to early February). This is why some of you frustratingly have a shipping date in January or February even though you backed us the first day.

2. Color. As described in previous updates, color mixes have been an issue in the mass production. Therefore, we’ve only produced units in one color, namely gray since it was an easy color to mix and one that a lot of you requested. Starting now, we will produce white units and in the next batches orange and black.

3. Geography. To minimize the risk of problems with shipping (including multiple shipping partners, customs, etc) we’ve strived for keeping each batch in geographical areas close to each other. The first batch was to US backers only, the second one almost exclusively to Europeans and this next one will be a mix of the two. For the next batch (estimated for mid January) we expect to be able to ship to all over the world.

TL;DR: new PCB supplier is great so far, the shipping schedule holds and we keep shipping Narrative Clips according to the current schedule. We’ll keep you posted on the progress.

As always, if you have any questions go to http://support.getnarrative.com to get in touch.
Until next time: Happy New Year!With love,

Narrative Team

The Memoto Lifelogging Camera: Tested and Proven

How do you design the perfect lifelogging camera?

Readers of Memoto’s blog and backers of Memoto’s Kickstarter campaign often give us invaluable feedback on how we could improve the Memoto Lifelogging Camera. We love (and need!) to hear all kinds of suggestions – please keep them coming! In fact, listening to what people want in a lifelogging camera really shaped Memoto into what we know it as today. The design of the entire Memoto service (camera and app) stems from a structured and qualitative research process.

Our market research told us that consumers want a wearable, automatic camera that is:

  • Small – clumsy cameras are not very wearable.
  • Dumb(!) – smart cameras tend not to be very small, so better to put the “smart” in the backend.
  • Affordable – consumers have a pretty good idea of what level of technology to expect per spent dollar. If you’ve just spent $500 on the latest smart phone, you look for equivalent value in your next tech purchase. Or a lower price for less features.
  • Personal – to wear something everyday it needs to look cool and in line with your style.
  • Honest – the fact that an automatic, wearable camera comes with integrity issues is indisputable. Users don’t want to feel like spies and want the camera to be easy to spot for the people they meet.

Read on to find out how we learned this and a few other secrets along the way, in the days when Memoto was only a loose idea in the founders’ minds. Let’s go back to January 2012 and the birth of Memoto’s design principles.

Post-it wall

The intitial post-it wall covering scattered ideas for the Memoto Lifelogging Camera

Starting point: comfortable and honest

We were clear on one thing: a lifelogging camera needs to be comfortable to wear without it intruding in life’s most precious moments.  So how can we create a lifelogging camera that is comfortable and subtle enough to not be distracting but still not give the impression of being a spy camera? What options are available for the look and feel of a wearable camera and what kind of emotional response will different designs elicit from people meeting the wearer?

The Service Design Process

Realizing that the choices we made on the design would be crucial for the success of the Memoto Lifelogging Camera, we turned to the experts. The service design agency Transformator in Stockholm has worked on customer research based projects for the leading brands of all types of businesses.

service-design-process

The iterative service design process for the Memoto Lifelogging Camera

Transformator presented us with a process that corresponded very well with what’s often called “lean startup.” Some key principles in this process are:

  • Development happens through customer driven service design
  • The process is grounded in in-depth qualitative customer insights
  • The process is iterative: you ask, you learn, you implement – and you repeat in loops until satisfaction.
  • Each loop consist of customer interaction, ideation and prototyping.

The objective of the Service Design Process was to answer three questions:

  1. Who is this for?
  2. Why should someone care?
  3. What does a lifelogging camera look like?

Who is this for?

We let Transformator conduct 50 in-depth interviews of 1 hour each, people aged 22 to 65 were asked questions like:

  • How and why do you take photos today? Have you experienced situations that you wish had photos from but for whatever reason don’t?
  • What do you do with the photos? How do you manage them? Do you publish them on social media?
  • How would you like to document your life? Do you already?

The result was a – you guessed it – four-quadrant map that looked like this:

Segments

Identified segments of users for the Memoto Lifelogging Camera

We found that the major differentiators in how people used cameras and photos are whether you are active or passive in taking photos and in whether you are public or private in sharing photos. This let us plot the interviewees on this map and define three clear segments:

  • The Self Promotors – These are active users of social media and they like telling their life stories in pictures and enjoy following the lives of others. They are curious about new technology and they easily adopt new devices and services. They are especially fond of apps and services that let them be creative.
  • The Memory Collector – These users mainly shoot and store photos for their own personal documentation. They manage their photos in an orderly fashion and only share photos with people in their immediate sphere. Interestingly, this was also a group often describing themselves as “nerds” with passionate and specific interests.
  • The “Unsentimentalist” – They express no interest in “dwelling in the past.” Some of them don’t even bring cameras on vacations. They describe themselves as late adopters who only join in when they need to.

It became apparent that Memoto (still not the company’s name at the time, but more on that in another post) was facing very distinct target groups. So what could we offer them?

Why should someone care?

Based on the interviews we had with potential users (and non-users) we learned about four desired values to be gained from a lifelogging camera:

  1. A documented life story - Life documentation in photo sequences enables users to accessibly relive past moments and follow life developments. 
  2. Stronger and closer relationships Through sharing life experiences and everyday moments in closed and open social media platforms users of a lifelogging camera can nurture their relationships with friends and loved ones. 
  3. Memories kept alive - With inspiring editing functions users can be creative with their collected moments. 
  4. Stronger self knowledge - Through visualizing users’ life patterns, users of a lifelogging camera can learn more about themselves and develop their self-confidence and self-esteem.

What does a lifelogging camera look like?

Honest-and-Subtle

The Memoto Lifelogging Camera needed to be both honest and subtle. Do you think we’ve succeeded?

The questions of “who” and “why” gave pretty nice and easy answers in terms of target groups and value propositions. The obvious challenge revealed in the market research was another one: how do you design an automatic wearable camera that is discreet enough to be easily worn but apparent enough to not be perceived as a spy cam?

Again, we turned to the experts. Design agency PeoplePeople was founded by ex-Nokia product designers. One of the designers, Per Brickstad, has designed everything imaginable in the wearable space and based on his experience and the research results presented by Transformator, Per started experimenting with numerous different design alternatives.

Square or round? Centered lens or not?

Round-vs-Square

Left: our design idea for a round lifelogging camera with a centered lens. Right: the winning design, square shaped and off-center lens

The fact that a lifelogging camera needs to be very small in order to be wearable was obvious. But then that would risk the device not feeling honest enough, so we needed to find other ways to communicate that the device on your chest is in fact a camera, but a friendly one. Two factors turned out to be crucial: shape and lens placement.

The research conducted by Transformator showed us that people have a pretty strong opinion regarding this matter:

  • A round shape with a centered lens is perceived as much too distracting. “It looks like an eye spying on me. I don’t want people around me to feel that way when they meet me” one respondent commented.
  • A square shaped camera with an off-center lens was found to provide more comfort and a friendly perception. “It’s subtle and interesting and it looks gender-neutral” was a typical comment.

To emphasize that this really is a camera and nothing else, we made the lens clearly visible and similar to what people are used to recognize as a camera lens. When presented with an early 3D print of the design and asked to guess what it was, a clear majority of the respondent guessed it to be some kind of recording device. Bingo.

Result

After months of research, the final design was set just in time for Memoto’s Kickstarter campaign. At the time of writing, the actual cameras are going through mass production. Soon the result of 1.5 years of researching, prototyping, testing and re-iterating will see the light of day as the first batches of Memoto Lifelogging cameras land by the doors of 4000 early Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers. We can’t wait.

Memoto Turntable Rendering from Memoto on Vimeo.

What do you think? Has Memoto succeeded in designing a lifelogging camera that is honest and subtle? What could be made different? Let us know your thoughts!

Best,

Memoto Team through Oskar

PS. If you’re curious to know more, you’re welcome to access the keynote presentation that Martin Källström held at the ISTAS’13 conference, from which some of the pictures in this post were taken. Check out the full slide deck below:

 

Memoto Cloud Service Subscription

Memoto is more than a wearable device; it’s a hardware and software service for remembering every moment. To get access to a photographic memory, you’ll need not only a small camera but also a strong, smart and secure backend system.

We’re building Memoto’s backend to handle millions of photos for millions of users. You should be able to upload your photos from your camera in a fast and secure way. You should be able to rely on the photos staying on the servers, out of reach to anyone but you. And, most importantly, you should be able to access and make use of your large photo stream.

“Memoto’s Lifelogging Experience” – the camera, the cloud service and the apps have been beautifully described in this infograph (also below). The subscription fee for the organization and storage of your photo stream will be $9 (+ tax where applicable) per month, starting year 2. In exchange, you get access to “the brain and the heart” of Memoto:

We hope you find this deal as smart as we do. And remember, if you order a Memoto camera today, the full subscription fee for the whole first year is included. If you haven’t already, order your Memoto camera here.

All the best, Memoto Team via Oskar

Answers to some common questions below.

- Can I upload other data and store in the Memoto cloud? Why not? 
No. Memoto is not a storage service. 

- Can I delete my photos? Will this also delete my metadata? 
Yes and yes. 

- What about all that compounding data? For example, will 3 years of data cost 3x as much as the first year? 
No, the monthly cost is a flat fee.

-What if I choose not to renew the subscription (or wish to opt out of it altogether)? 
You have the option to store all photos (with the exception of GPS location) on your local hard drive and managing them manually in a standard photo catalogue.

Memoto Lifelogging Experience Infograph

Memoto Lifelogging Experience Infograph

Weekly progress update: CMF, production test development and a Windows client

Friday (yay) and time for another look behind the scenes of Memoto’s production. If you have missed out on why we’re doing this on such a regular basis, check back on previous updates and most specifically this one.

Here’s what’s been accomplished this week:

Hardware

  • Our industrial designer has made CMF spec (Color Material Finish) to hand over to our manufacturers. Now they will now how every surface and color will look and feel on the hardware, which obviously is a crucial input in their tooling for the camera case.
  • Blueprints are finished for the USB cable (micro usb to regular usb) that will come with the Memoto camera. Let’s leave the details on the looks of it for you to find out when you open your package, but this will be one gorgeous little USB cable. (NB: gorgeous, but not slowing down or risking the rest of the shipment.) Next step is to start the tooling for the cable.
  • On the packaging side, we’re waiting for new samples of the actual package, the packaging sleeve and the instruction manual. The ones we got so far looks good, but they needed some polish.
  • We’re waiting for the plastic tooling to inject and mold the various parts in the Memoto camera. It will take a few weeks more, and we hope that no issues creep up during that time of course. The injection molding tooling in this case is quite advanced for producing the tiny plastic shell with its many features, so when we are done we look forward to doing a quick video showing just what machinery is involved.
  • We are also still waiting for the first 75 PCBs to get ready and are preparing the surface-mount assembly of them right now. We have high expectations for the assembly quality as we collaborate with a very good manufacturer, but this is one area where yield issues can creep up so we have to put these assembled PCBs through mechanical and environmental stress tests before ordering the other thousands of boards.
  • The production test development and setup is also ongoing, with PCs being set up at the factory now which will inject the production test firmware into the assembled boards and produce a go/no-go signal. We would be happy to share some videos of this process as well when we get the opportunity.

Backend

  • Work has been made to stabilize and speed up the process of uploading pictures and creating moments. Today, images are lined up in a que directly on our servers as they are being uploaded, thus creating a heavy load, a drop in speed and an overall not-optimal-experience. When we’ve put Amazon S3 in the middle between the uploading client and our servers the capacity for the que of images will be (almost) infinite and keeping our servers out of the action  during the upload process. On the “momentification” side, we’re teaching the algorithm to build moments as pictures are uploaded and not in huge batches as uploads are finished. The result: a speedy and robust upload experience.
  • To increase the accuracy of the momentification, we’re also starting to collect data from humans. (Who would have thought, huh?) This way we can test for example that the algorithm’s opinion on when a moment begins and ends correlates with what the human user think about his/her memory.

Software

  • The OSX client in older versions of OSX has been a pain. We’ve used new API:s and frameworks to build the client, but these haven’t been supported by older versions of OSX. After new custom-written code, it works like a charm.
  • For the Windows client, the last steps of the design process and the first steps of coding has been initiated. Iterating through a number of design alternatives for the OSX client and tested them on people (humans, again!) will prove useful here. 

Anything you think is unclear or that you want to hear more about? Let us know in the comments!

/The Memoto Team

What your startup can get from going to SXSW

SXSW 2013 is over. But the effects (or memories, in Memoto lingo) prevails. Especially so for Memoto. Let me share some insights on what being at SXSW 2013 meant for us.

1. Connections

Austin during SXSW is probably the most dense place I’ve been in terms of people-I’d-like-to-meet per square meter. Everyone you know and don’t know seems to be there. Not only your first grade connections, but your second and third and fourth grade too (heck, I think Kevin Bacon himself was there) so odds are good you’ll get introductions to people in the most distant nodes of your network. You can’t go two blocks down the street without bumping in to someone who turns out to either a) have a brilliant biz dev idea for your startup, b) know that person you’re looking to get in contact with, or c) want to buy you a beer and talk about nothing.

During the five days me and Martin were at SXSW representing Memoto, we got introduced to a dozen of people and companies that we hope will make a big difference for the company. Plus, a gazillion others who were super fun to hang out with and made our days in Austin awesome.

None of these, I dare to say, would we have met sitting in our offices in Sweden.

The key to meeting these people were, in my opinion:

  1. Keep a loose schedule. We maintained this until about 2 hours in to SXSW… Still, we were able to move things around and split if needed. There were very few people we had to say no to due to a crowded agenda (although the unknown number of how many we could have met if we had had more time is of course… unknown).
  2. Talk to a lot of people. Not just people you know. Not just people that you think will be interesting to talk to. Take 5 minutes to chat with the guy in the elevator. Ask a policeman what they think about your product. The more people you take the time to meet, the higher the probability it will lead somewhere.
  3. Be sure about what you can bring and what your are looking for. To get something “valuable” (in quotation marks, because “nice chat over a beer” can be truly valuable too, but not counted in this very paragraph) out of your conversations you should be able to spot when someone is offering you a solution to a problem, or when someone is asking for your help.
  4. Believe it or not, but there are still people in your network back home. Tell them you’re going to SXSW and ask them to make introductions for you to people they know are going. (Again, the degrees of separation…)

Bonus! I’m extra happy that we got to meet a whole bunch of Memoto Kickstarter backers and early pre-order customers. Getting the opportunity to meet face-to-face and thank them for their support meant a great deal for us. (You know who you are.)

Anyway, connecting and meeting-and-greeting have the extra benefit that you from time to time stumble upon someone working with number 2 on this list.

You can look like this but still get to meet people at SXSW.

You can look like this but still get to meet people at SXSW.

2. Press

Going to SXSW for the sole purpose of getting press for your startup is probably a bad idea. With a seemingly infinite number of cool, innovative and well-polished startups in town, the competition for attention couldn’t get tougher. Add to that an equal amount of cars-dressed-as-rabbits, girls-in-bikini-on-honking-vespas and scary-giant-mega-heads crowding the streets and it’s obvious that you need to both be and do something very special to stand out.

To be honest, we really didn’t do much to be heard. In part, because getting attention wasn’t the main reason for our trip. In part, because we have a lot of other stuff on our hands.

This is what we did before boarding the plane to Austin, in chronological order:

  1. Applied for SXSW Interactive Accelerator Awards (appr. 5 months in advance)
  2. Applied for Tech Cocktail’s startup competition (appr. 3 months in advance)
  3. Sent a press release and blogged about Memoto being a finalist in the Accelerator Awards plus our schedule for the event (appr. 2 weeks in advance. A little late…)
  4. Arranged a meetup for local lifelogging and/or Memoto enthusiasts, which quickly was moved to/merged with another meetup (appr. 2 weeks in advance.)

These are the interviews we ended up doing at our five days SXSW:

Memoto on the cover of International Herald (who didn't interview us...)

Memoto on the cover of International Herald (who didn’t interview us…)

Plus, and this is almost ridiculous, we were followed for three days by a crew from a major US national morning show. (Better not say which one since it hasn’t aired yet. I don’t know. Better safe than sorry). They got in town on Saturday, put microphones to our shirts on Sunday and didn’t take them off before Tuesday. How did this happen? Because the producer called me in December asking if it would be OK.:)

So, what I’m trying to say here is:

a) It’s not worth trying so hard to get attention at events like this. Memoto would probably not have had any more attention (more likely less) should we have run around like mad dogs showing off for media.

b) If you do get the chance to talk to media, take it. The interviews at SXSW kept messing up our schedule but we worked around it so that we could fit in everyone asking to talk to us.

c) We have been open with what we are doing and always tried to make it easy to report on Memoto. The attention we got was in part because of previous relations with media. “In part”, because…

d) … the kick-ass product in our briefcase helped a lot too. :)

3. Energy

Or inspiration, or feeling, or having fun. The spirit and the vibe at SXSW is hard to resist and sprinting between media interview, clubs, business meetings to Fitz and the Tantrums gigs and pitch competitions gives you, more than anything, an energy boost that lasts long after landing home in your office.

If the connections don’t give you what you hoped for and the press seems sour, you will still have had a lot of fun along the way, which can only mean good things for your startup.

So, now it’s time to use these connections, press mentions and energy (and cash fillings they resulted in) to get the Memoto Lifelogging Camera out the doors. While Martin and I were away, the team back home made additional tunings on the app, which we will tell you more about shortly. And after months of hard work, we could finally show the world the first photos taken with a Memoto Camera. Check it out. They’re gorgeous.

/Oskar

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us on twitter and facebook! PS – Have you pre-ordered your Memoto Lifelogging Camera yet?

 

How Memoto raised $500,000 on Kickstarter, part 2

We’ve previously described how Memoto got to the point of being approved by Kickstarter. It wasn’t an effortless ride, to say the least, but after months of preparations and weeks of nail-biting, nerve-racking anxiety and adjustments, we got the approval and were ready to launch early morning (CET) Tuesday, October 23rd 2012.

Today, 38 days later, we have just closed the Kickstarter campaign and thought we should share our sum-up. Because the roller-coaster ride had only begun when the campaign started.

The day before the launch, the Memoto team gathered in our Stockholm office. Normally, we’re scattered across Sweden, but for the launch we figured we should all get together and enjoy the first days of the Kickstarter campaign in the same room. We had lists of reporters and influential people in our network that we were prepared to call and beg for their engagement in order to boost interest the first hours. We had started an unofficial Facebook event to lure our friends to the launch. Each person in the Memoto team of 15 had a designated promotion task (call your friends, email 100 reporters, DM people on Twitter etc) for the first days of the campaign, to help us get started. It was not going to be easy, we thought, but we were committed to put in the effort needed to make the project fly.

In the evening before launch day, we went out for dinner and started talking about our expectations for the days to come. We had learned that the first 48 hours are crucial for any Kickstarter campaign. The exact numbers vary, but the general consensus is that if you haven’t raised a 30% percent of your goal (in our case 15k of our 50k goal, or 75 pledged Memoto cameras) within the first two days, you’re bound to have a tough time making it to 100% during the rest of your campaign period; Hence, the nervousness. (Notice a pattern?)

The Memoto Team gathered on the night before launch.

The Memoto Team gathered on the night before launch.

Someone by the dinner table took a bold guess: “We should be able to get those 30% the first day, shouldn’t we?” Someone more pessimistic (me) couldn’t contain their skepticism: “Are you crazy? How would we do that? If we’d have 75 people pledging for a camera the first day we’d have a conversation rate from our mail subscription list of 25%! Get real.” I’ve never been happier to be wrong.

Come Tuesday morning, 7am CET (10pm Monday night PST), waking up on team member’s mattresses across Stockholm, we opened our laptops to watch the campaign see the light of day. Amazed, we witnessed our baby getting the kind of reception we had only dreamed of.

After the first 15 minutes, 50 very quick-on-the-draw persons had watched our campaign video and 10 trigger-happy backers had pledged for a camera. After 30 minutes, we had reached 10% of our total goal of $50,000. After an hour, we had passed 20%, and the beautiful linear progress kept on climbing.

The funding progress during the first hours of the Kickstarter project “Memoto Lifelogging Camera”.

The funding progress during the first hours of the Kickstarter project “Memoto Lifelogging Camera”.

On the Interwebs, the word on Memoto started to spread. We were headline news on The Verge, Techcrunch and TheNextWeb. And Wired UK, Huffington Post UK, El Pais in Spain and Internet World in Sweden also picked up on the story. The talk about Memoto continued on Twitter, Reddit, Hacker News and Quora. The designated begging lists we were supposed to use to get people’s attention were quickly thrown out the office’s ceiling window.

Screenshot by Mike Manning @ravmike one hour after we launched

Screenshot by Mike Manning @ravmike one hour after we launched

Not that we could, by any means, kick back and relax. Instead, we would soon learn the real power of crowdfunding: the crowd.

But more about that in a bit. First, let me finish bragging about the funding progress the first 24 hours.

After 3 hours, we had raised $25,000.

After 4 hours, we had reached $40,000.

After 4 hours and 35 minutes, we passed the goal of the campaign: $50,000. The Memoto camera was going to happen.

The Memoto team celebrating the passing of the project’s goal: $50,0000. Notice the unintentional Gangnam Style poses.

The Memoto team celebrating the passing of the project’s goal: $50,0000. Notice the unintentional Gangnam Style poses.

Now the natural question: why did we set such a, in hindsight, low goal? Well, the truth is simply that $50,000 was (roughly) what we needed to get the cameras into production. Probably a higher goal would have been nice to increase the ability to solve unforeseen obstacles with money, but frankly we didn’t dare to set the goal as high as, say $100,000, because of the risk of not reaching it and thus, losing it all. $50,000 felt like something we could potentially raise over the course of the 38 days long Kickstarter campaign.

But as people started dropping in for our launch party, where we had prepared various games and treats to get people (our friends) at the party to back us, we had doubled our goal amount ($100,000). When the night was over, we had raised three times our initial goal and reached the first stretch goal that we made up almost in panic earlier in the afternoon.

After 16 hours, we were about to pass 300% funding.

After 16 hours, we were about to pass 300% funding.

After that first day, we were obviously overwhelmed with the warm welcome Memoto had received. Few phrases are probably more overused than “not in our wildest dreams…” but that night we all felt like… well, like we had made really crappy estimations to begin with.

Despite the fantastic, enormous and, for the most part, positive buzz that flew in and out of our mailboxes and Twitter feeds, it should be said openly that not all of the mentions and discussions about Memoto were completely positive. The most common concerns were, not surprisingly, about privacy issues, integrity and security. Plus, the inevitable and always nice, “what-the-heck-is-this-for” question. These concerns were much aligned with what we had expected. Using the prepared FAQ we were able to immediately take part in the discussions and present our point of view. The entire Memoto team of 15 people sat, reclined and stood scattered about the office, frenetically tapping on their laptops to offer answers or just provide someone to talk to about the questions emerging around Memoto.

The Memoto office early in the morning of October 23. Still in shock over the kick start and scratching our heads over how to manage the tons of feedback coming in.

The Memoto office early in the morning of October 23. Still in shock over the kick start and scratching our heads over how to manage the tons of feedback coming in.

After just a few hours in the campaign we learned how valuable all these discussions were going to be for our product development. The before-mentioned thread on Reddit, for example, quickly killed what we thought was a key feature of our service. (Thank you very much!) On the Kickstarter page we proudly state ”… the photos are automatically uploaded to Memoto’s servers.” Convenient, we thought. No hassle, and the user gets access to the organization of photos through Memoto’s smartphone app. Plus, you don’t have to store 4,5 terabytes of data per year on your closet server. The Reddit community thought differently. Redditers argued vocally for it to be optional to store your photos on Memoto’s servers and questioned why they should trust Memoto with photos randomly and automatically taken. We tried explaining the reason behind our thinking but quickly realized we were the ones mistaken and the Redditer’s demands were quite fair.

The next day, we started researching the possibilities to meet the demand of optional local storage. In the evening, we were able to publish a Kickstarter update stating this feature to be included if we reached the next stretch goal of $350,000 to finance the extra development it would need. At the same time, we threw in a couple of other features that had also been requested by the crowd during the first day of the campaign.

Quickly recorded video to illustrate how the double tapping feature will work. 

It all happened very quickly, but in just over the first 48 hours we had made some crucial insights on how Kickstarter works:

1. A) It’s a crowd funding platform. (Notice the two words; not “crowdfunding”). It is a CROWD that is funding you, not a single person or VC firm that you can schedule a Skype meeting with when you have time a week from now, but actually a (potentially very large) group of people willing to take out their wallets and give you money for something that no one knows whether or not it will ever exist. They are more than “users,” more than “customers.” They are champions of your idea and they should be treated with respect, gratitude, transparency and an eagerness to go a whole bunch of extra miles to meet their expectations.

B) During a Kickstarter campaign, the best investment you can make is to spend time talking with backers, converted or potential. Done right, you get both inspiration and positive feedback to get you through the hard work needed, plus you learn what works with your product and what doesn’t. Your backers essentially become a virtual product development team. If you doubt it, think about the costs of running a focus group or market research campaign. (Even that is not fair, since respondents in a focus group rarely have made the same commitment to your product as your Kickstarter backers have.) Help them help you (at Memoto, we did a “how to” page to help newbies to Kickstarter) and you’ll get it back 11 fold…

C) Community management takes time. A lot of time. At Memoto we, had to double our community management team from two to four people during the Kickstarter campaign in order to monitor and manage the questions and feedback coming. You are expected to be extremely quick and correct in your interaction on the Comments section, in your Updates, when personally contacting backers and in your feedback emails, Twitter discussions and Facebook threads. See A+B above for arguments.

Niclas Johansson (@niclasj), hand-picked and quickly added to Memoto’s community team for the Kickstarter campaign.

Niclas Johansson (@niclasj), hand-picked and quickly added to Memoto’s community team for the Kickstarter campaign.

2. Stretch goals are great, but not in the way we thought. It’s hard to prove with A/B tests, but our feeling after having announced a total of three stretch goals and reached two of them, is that stretch goals don’t work as triggers for backers. We saw little or no effect on the backer/funding graphs after announcing a stretch goal. Why? We don’t know. (If you have an idea, please post a comment as we are eager to understand.) What a stretch goal does enable though, is the ability for you to talk about things to come, thereby inflating your original product with more valuable features even before they are made. For instance, being able to offer the stretch goal reward of “double-tap to take a picture”, made the idea of the Memoto camera bigger and better without costing us money upfront for development. The basic idea with Kickstarter, in other words, but on a feature level. Plus, it proved that we listened to our backers.

The Memoto Wifi Dock – part of a stretch goal of $700,000 that we didn’t reach but which still offered us an opportunity to talk about future accessories. At Memoto.com, we will keep displaying the progress towards this stretch goal.

The Memoto Wifi Dock – part of a stretch goal of $700,000 that we didn’t reach but which still offered us an opportunity to talk about future accessories. At Memoto.com, we will keep displaying the progress towards this stretch goal.

3. It’s a process, not a product. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the insight still grew on us as our project evolved. Your initial Kickstarter page and video is basically just a statement on where you’re at by the time the campaign starts. With the help of your backers, this will change and improve over time and you will have iterated your project plan over and over until you come out on the other end with a different product than you first launched. To talk in tech project terms: Kickstarter may require a waterfall spec to launch your project, but it is actually a scrum platform.

The Memoto app underwent a rapid development during the Kickstarter campaign.

The Memoto app underwent a rapid development during the Kickstarter campaign.

4. Don’t be cheap on details. Your backers deserve to know whatever they want to know about your product. What is the name of the sensor in the Memoto camera? Will I be able to use your API to build a Windows app? What’s the photo quality in dawning light? Tell it, and tell it honestly. Use Kickstarter’s various media platforms to place your level of information right: large-scale, top-level “sales points” in the video, essential product information in the page body, nitty-gritty nice-to-know stuff in your FAQ.

Overview of the PCB in the Memoto Lifelogging Camera

Overview of the PCB in the Memoto Lifelogging Camera

After those first hectic days when everything was chaos, we started to get on top of things again. We brought in extra personnel to assist with the community management. Niclas Johansson (@NiclasJ) and Lina Boozon Ekberg (@BoozonLina) came in after a week or so and made the whole difference. Now the rest of the communication team could spend some time on figuring out the next steps and the dev team could focus on developing the product.

As the campaign went on, we kept getting the most unexpected inquiries and requests. Adventurers wanting a camera for their walk around the world, researchers seeing a use for a Memoto camera when doing research on sheep and a world-known rock band asking to have a couple of cameras to document their next tour. And then, there were distributors offering to get the cameras out on the most unexpected markets, super cool social media brands initiating partnerships and one or two investors placing their money on the table for a stake in the company.

So far we’ve had to turn most of them down. Not because we don’t like their ideas, but simply because we have increasingly seen our need for focus. In a few weeks we literally went from zero to thousands of buyers and with that comes a responsibility to also ship what we’ve promised. Seems obvious, I know, but it doesn’t happen out of nowhere and at the time of writing we still have many hard hours of work ahead of us before the first camera lands on all of our backer’s doorsteps.

Single most common request: a Memoto cat collar

Single most common request: a Memoto cat collar

Today, we closed the campaign. It feels great, of course, having raised 11x our initial goal. No question about that. As we described in the first part of this blog post, we were never sure we would even reach the original goal set for the campaign and ending up with >$550,000 was light years beyond what we could have ever dreamed. We’re still amazed and forever grateful for this.

But even more important has been the validation of our idea that we’ve received from the thousands of camera sold and the thousands of comments, tweets, emails and random cheering from each and everyone. The positive feedback has, for sure, kept our egos running, but it’s been in the mix with the more, should I say constructive, feedback that we’ve really been able to tighten our product development and keep ourselves on the right track. For this, Memoto owes it to our backers to have a kick ass product in their hands within a few months. And that is what we will spend all our time on now.

The discussions live on on Twitter, Facebook and on Memoto.com. Join us in the race to the next stretch goal!

The Memoto Lifelogging Camera on Kickstarter, 2 hours after the campaign ended.

The Memoto Lifelogging Camera on Kickstarter, 2 hours after the campaign ended.

To sum up, and in the spirit of lifelogging inspired data collection, we’d like to share some data from Memoto’s Kickstarter campaign:

  • Campaign starting time: October 23rd 7am (CET) 2012
  • Campaign ending time: November 30th 12pm (CET) 2012
  • Total campaign time: 38 days, 5 hours
  • Number of backers: 2871
  • Number of new Twitter followers: 802
  • Number of new Facebook page fans: 2,414
  • Number of visits on Memoto.com: 116,439 (99,177 unique)
  • Number of visits on Memoto.com directed from external sources: 57,282
  • Country yielding most visits on Memoto.com : United States (43,494) (California being at the top with 9,119)
  • Number of countries yielding visits on Memoto.com: 178
  • Most popular pledge level on Kickstarter: $249 (45% of backers, 59% of money raised)
  • Total amount pledged: $550,189
  • Percentage funded: 1,100%
  • Average pledge amount: $191
  • Traffic source delivering highest percentage of pledging: Kickstarter.com/discover/categories/hardware (19,48% or $107,185)
  • Number of video plays: 102,788 (62,054 on Kickstarter, 40,734 outside of Kickstarter)
  • Number of cameras sold: 2,346
  • Getting feedback from awesome backers: priceless
Funding progress of The Memoto Lifelogging Camera on Kickstarter. (Image cred: Kickstarter.com)

Funding progress of The Memoto Lifelogging Camera on Kickstarter. (Image cred: Kickstarter.com)

Again, thank you for the fantastic ride this has been! We can’t wait to get the freshly baked cameras in your hands. Now we’re going to crawl back into our startup cave and get everything ready for shipment ASAP. But we’ll keep you posted about our future progress and we look very much forward to hearing from you along the way.

Lots of love,

Memoto Team through Oskar Kalmaru

This blog post has been inspired by Niclas Johansson’s roundup of his FundedByMe campaign “Bar-deli”. It’s a great read for anyone planning a launching a crowd funding campaign, no matter the size or place. Thank you Niclas for the inspiration! 

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us on twitter and facebook! PS – Have you pre-ordered your Memoto Lifelogging Camera yet?

How Memoto raised $500,000 on Kickstarter, part 1.

Still being in something of a shock over the overwhelming response Memoto’s Kickstarter project has had, we feel we need, for reasons of self-therapy if nothing else, to put down in words what has really happened these past few weeks since we launched.

We will do this in two parts, one where we describe the process leading up to the launch of the project and one where we disclose some lessons learned during the actual project.

So, what’s Kickstarter? Well basically, it’s a website for crowdfunding projects. Anyone can set up a project and seek funding – and anyone can fund a project. As a project creator, you have the possibility to raise money for projects that otherwise would have trouble being realized. As a funder (or “backer”, in Kickstarter lingo) you can be part of the creation of brand new goods and services and you often get to start using them before they hit the regular market. That is, and this is important, if a project is successful. Because if the project doesn’t reach its announced goal (the amount of money needed to make the idea of the project a reality) the project creators get nothing and might need to give up the idea completely.

Memoto’s Kickstarter project was launched on October 23rd, with the goal of reaching $50,000 before November 30. It would turn out to be way more, but that we didn’t know that when we started. So, let’s go back to when that was; Let’s go back to Sweden, spring of 2012:

Per Brickstad of design agency PeoplePeople showing early drawings of the Memoto camera.

Per Brickstad of design agency PeoplePeople showing early drawings of the Memoto camera.

Beginning in March 2012, the Memoto team began to expand from only three original founders to a team of a dozen in June. This was made possible thanks to small funds from Swedish governmental institutions and the founders. The process of taking the Memoto Lifelogging Camera from an idea to an actual product had then already begun (led by experts on market research, product design and interaction design.) With this reinforced team, Memoto was able to start the electronics design and the software development.

Early version of the Memoto blog

Early version of the Memoto blog.

We wouldn’t have much to show for the outside world in terms of prototypes for another 6 months. Doing any kind of marketing or communication might have seemed unnecessary or even stupid, (Why spend time and effort on marketing a non-existing product?) But even though we didn’t have much to talk about, we thought we had a lot to learn by listening.

So from the very beginning, more than half a year before the Kickstarter launch, Memoto started reaching out to the community of daily photographers, lifeloggers and quantified self enthusiasts who were already discussing the aspects of wearable cameras and lifelogging photography. We created a blog, made a Facebook page and opened up a Twitter account. To mark our vision, we let our friends at HouseofRadon do a visionary video for us.

Vision video Remember every moment, produced by HouseofRadon for Memoto in April 2012.

With some basic social media channels in place, we started to collect all the intelligent and interesting thoughts we stumbled upon, and posted them as blog posts (“This week in lifelogging”), re-tweeted them and shared their stories on Facebook. This way, we were able to make Memoto a somewhat recognized brand at a very early stage, albeit for an extremely limited crowd.

In July, we even took steps to launch the production of a full-length documentary! We sent two young film students, Amanda and Ville, on a six week long around-the-world trip to interview entrepreneurs, scientists and thought-leaders about their thoughts on lifelogging and the impact it will have on our lives in the future. Amanda and Ville returned home with not just over 100 hours of lifelogging material (see the trailer for the upcoming documentary here), but with invaluable high-quality contacts with some of the world’s most influential people in our field.

Meanwhile, Memoto received a seed round of funding from an institutional investor (Passion Capital). The extra capital enabled us to continue developing the Memoto camera, the software and growing the team for another few months. But the money wasn’t enough to cover the cost of setting up mass production of the camera. This was about the time when we decided Kickstarter could be a realistic means of getting those funds.

Left: Memoto team shared a boat at Sweden Social Web Camp. Right: Community Director Jenny Dahl exhibiting Memoto at Techcrunch Disrupt.

Left: Memoto team shared a boat at Sweden Social Web Camp. Right: Community Director Jenny Dahl exhibiting Memoto at Techcrunch Disrupt.

In August, The Memoto team continued the efforts of community building at the major Swedish web “unconferance” Sweden Social Web Camp and tested the idea with some of Sweden’s early tech-adopters. The first prototypes were 3D-printed and the concept for the smartphone apps had started taking shape.

It was time to start preparing the Kickstarter page.

It’s worth mentioning that “preparing the Kickstarter page” is not the same as “preparing for a Kickstarter project”. The preparations for the project started at the same time we started reaching out to the lifelogging community (it’s only that having a Kickstarter project wasn’t yet decided at the time). Since we now had more of the product in place, we got down to the actual creation of the project page.

After researching and finding inspiration in numbers of other Kickstarter projects (like Boosted BoardsThe Pebble Watch1Q and The Biochemies DNA Molecule Plush Dolls) plus listening to what previous project creators had to say we realized a few things:

  • The video is key – it doesn’t necessarily have to be super slick, but it needs to align with what you want to say and stand for
  • The project page needs to say it all – if there are questions your potential backers don’t find answers to, the risk is that you’ll lose those backers
  • Once the project is launched, it will need constant care during the rest of the project period – updates need to be posted to keep the project alive, backers need to be kept in the loop about the project’s progress and potential discussions in external channels need to be curated

These realizations would later turn out to be not more than a fraction of the lessons we would learn in the coming weeks. But we didn’t know this when we started preparing the Kickstarter page in late August.

Co-founder and CEO Martin Källström with Ville Bloom during the filming of the first Kickstarter video Memoto made.

Co-founder and CEO Martin Källström with Ville Bloom during the filming of the first Kickstarter video Memoto made.

We started with the video. We didn’t know how to create a Kickstarter video, so we started out writing a script. We tried to cram in each and every detail we thought was needed to convince the audience about Memoto’s excellence. We asked Amanda and Ville to do the video (rashly disrupting their work on the post-production of the documentary). And, of course, we ended up failing miserably. There was a lack of clarity in what the essentials of the project were, so the script was a mess and the resulting video was doomed a catastrophe.

Now we were in the middle of September, only weeks before the planned launch date (October), and we started getting nervous: would we have a video good enough in time for the launch? We knew Kickstarter would take some time to review our project as well, so we needed to submit the video and the page a week before launch date.

Luckily, HouseOfRadon came to our rescue. Literally throwing our original video script in the trash, they started from scratch in making us a video that would present the Memoto Lifelogging Camera  the way it deserved to be presented. Since our early prototypes didn’t exactly have the looks and finish we aimed for, they designed beautiful 3D-renderings to use in the video and on the Kickstarter page. Despite the lack of time we had left for preparations, things actually started to look promising again.

emoto’s camera engineer and co-founder Björn Wesén with an early version of the prototype on the left. HouseofRadon’s 3D-rendering on the right.

emoto’s camera engineer and co-founder Björn Wesén with an early version of the prototype on the left. HouseofRadon’s 3D-rendering on the right.

Then the next drawback hit, and this time it was a major one.

On the evening of September 21st, Kickstarter posted a statement on their blog introducing some important changes to the guidelines for hardware projects like Memoto’s. Being a hardware project, you were no longer allowed to use 3D-renderings (which was about 100% of what we had in terms of product exemplifying images…) Further more, we were not allowed to show product simulations, i.e. “here’s how the camera would work, if it did work…” Finally, multiple quantities of rewards were abolished, meaning we couldn’t have (our planned) pledge levels of twin packs or “buy 10 for the price of 8” etc.

Looking back, we admit that these new guidelines are nothing but fair and do make Kickstarter a better place for both project creators and backers. But at the time, we felt frustrated. We were only days away from submitting our project for review and we were basically told there was no way we were going to be accepted.

We had a crisis meeting on the morning of September 22nd.  Should we a) find another, less scrupulous, service for our project, b) stick with our time schedule and launch an extremely downscaled version of the project or should we c) wait until the camera and app were ready enough to show according to the new guidelines (which we now know would have taken until December to accomplish)?

Hesitant as we were to all of the three options, we decided to go with a fourth one. We quickly postponed the announced launch by two weeks, until October 23rd, to buy ourselves some extra time. Then we had Prototal, a professional prototype producer outside of Stockholm, do three copies of high-end, 3D-printings of the Memoto camera. As soon as the prototypes were ready, we ran over to HouseofRadon to have them shoot new scenes with the prototypes in them. And we re-wrote practically the entire Kickstarter page, removing all simulations and 3D-renderings and doing our very best to present our project as transparently and honestly as possible.

On October 13th (after an intense two weeks, where HouseofRadon gathered their forces to do not only the video, but concept animation for the app, wearing illustrations and product photos) we were finally able to submit the project for review.

Behind the scenes of the production of Memoto’s Kickstarter video.

Behind the scenes of the production of Memoto’s Kickstarter video.

Some VERY nervous days followed. Would our project be approved? Memoto’s entire business plan more or less relied on us to run a crowdfunding campaign to get the finances needed for mass production of the cameras. Also, we had timed the campaign to start on Tuesday, October 23rd (after, don’t forget, changing the date once already) with high-profile media lined up to publish our story on that date, our friends waiting with their fingers on re-tweet buttons and a launch party planned at our Stockholm office on the night of the launch. Failing to launch on October 23rd would mean trouble on a scale we barely dared to consider.

First version of Memoto’s Kickstarter video.

On Wednesday October 17th, with only six days left before launch date, we received Kickstarter’s verdict. Our submitted project was not accepted.

The video contained parts that were seen as simulations and there were much more explanations needed to show the functional prototype. With so much lacking and so little time to fix it, getting through to launch date suddenly seemed unrealistic. After the miserable first video, then the change in guidelines in the middle of our preparations and now this, we were seriously starting to consider giving up the whole idea around a Kickstarter project. As a plan B, Memoto’s development team gathered in Linköping to quickly build our own webshop, inspired by what that the team behind Lockitron had done.

Meanwhile, we tried getting more specific details from Kickstarter’s support on what we could do to, by a long shot, be accepted. What exactly did we need to remove or add? Could it be negotiated in any way? After two nerve-racking days, Kickstarter’s support team got back to us with clarifications that actually gave us a little ray of hope. 24 hours of hard (slightly panicked) work later, we had restructured our project page and reedited the video to fit the new instructions.

We submitted the new version.

Crossed our fingers.

And…we were still not accepted.

A frantic back-and-forth conversation with the Kickstarter support team followed, where they gradually specified what was needed and we gradually added, removed and reedited until finally, early Saturday morning (!), we got the long anticipated news that we had been approved! This was only three days before launch day and the sigh of relief we let out could probably be heard from our offices in Linköping, Sweden to Kickstarter’s in New York, USA.

Our Kickstarter journey was about to begin.

(Part 2 of the story on how Memoto raised $500,000 on Kickstarter can be found here)

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us on twitter and facebook! PS – Have you pre-ordered your Memoto Lifelogging Camera yet?

This week in lifelogging: coolest thing ever made, aging gracefully and more

One question first, before getting started with this week’s wrap-up of what’s been going on in the lifelogging world: are you going to the Quantified Self conference in Palo Alto this weekend? Martin and Jenny from Memoto are there and they are happy to make new connections. Just drop them a tweet!

“Putting the geekery into fitness”

I like this mission: to unite “geekeness” (whatever that is) with “fitness”. Quantified Self apps and lifelogging services sometimes tend to get data heavy in the term’s worst sense: incomprehensible tables and diagrams of something that could be made really cool – our lives and our experience. Can’t we do better?

The same blog post goes on to describe the origin of the Quantified Self movement quite nicely:

“If technology has done anything, it’s kept us honest. Social networks have become people research databases, your search history is so very easily trackable, and don’t even try and wrap your head around the various ways that smartphones and the mobile app takeover have harnessed your data.This fountain of data has given birth to the Quantified Self movement, the idea of using various technologies to track and analyze your life.”

Lifelogging as you’ve never seen it

OK, all bets are off. This might be the coolest thing ever made.

Short version: using a lifelogging camera, a 3D model and a Xbox, a fresh graduate from the City University School of Creative Media in Hong Kong has made a world were you can walk around in his memories. Sounds weird? It is. And fantastic.

#

Here’s an interview with the genius behind it, Mr Alan Kwan.

(Didn’t we just say lifelogging can be made cool?)

MeasuredMe and the search for the perfect QS app

I don’t remember when the last time was that I didn’t mention MeasuredMe in one of these blog posts, but I just like what he (she? they?) are doing. The blog is a really open and transparent never-ending experiment with lifelogging and quantified self tools, that is both entertaining and educating to follow.

This week he (she/they), amongs other things, described the search for a perfect Quantified Self iPhone app.

Wordle on lifelogging apps. (Image from MeasuredMe.com)

“… most of the tracking and logging apps (94%) focus on a specific niche: diet, fitness, health, mood, finance, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing that at all. There are a lot of awesome apps out there that help us to track just a couple of things, and sometimes that’s all we need. In this particular case, however, I am interested in that single app that would enable me to keep all my multiple logs in one place.”

To help with the search, I’d like to recall a couple of posts (part 1 and part 2) we made here at the Memoto blog earlier this summer.

And one more video…

The creator of the video asked people in the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands, about their age. This is the result. From 0 to 100 in 150 seconds.

Thanks to Alex Carmichael at Quantified Self for the tip!

Speaking about aging…

here’s an interesting project about using technology, and specifically lifelogging technology, to “age gracefully”. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be able to halt by lifelogging devices such as the Sensecam.

Do you have any more examples of how lifelogging tools can help us age gracefully?

The Sensecam (image from Gajitz.com)

 

Have a nice weekend!

Remember to “loose the beeps, the sweeps and the creeps”.

What to avoid if you want a quiet weekend… (Image from Rescutime.com)

One exception from the no-twitter rule: don’t forget to tweet us to meet us at Quantified Self!