Category Archives: This week in lifelogging

This week in lifelogging

This week in lifelogging: today’s technology from the inspiring past

Nothing new?

“I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.” – Henry Ford

In our evolution of lifelogging infographic, we discussed how visual lifelogging, which largely deals with photographing life’s precious moments for the purposes of reminiscing and remembering, gradually transformed since the invention of the digital eye glass by Steve Mann in 1980. Extending this “evolution concept” beyond visual lifelogging to the broader and more general idea of lifelogging, which is really the record of the everyday life produced by a portable device regularly carried around, we will explore if the above quote by Mr. Ford holds true in the field of lifelogging, and whether we can draw parallels to how Star Trek has been predicting the tech future since 1966.

Image credited to Global Nerdy

Fashion smart apparel

wearable tech - dress

Today, many companies are venturing into the business of creating the perfect smart apparel. Such can be useful in the area of lifelogging - tracking our sports performance or even how our moods change over time. Yet, the idea of smart apparel has long been explored. One of those that were first documented can be seen in the picture above (left). Although much less classy than the ones we see today (right), tech geeks of the past have toyed with the idea of wearable tech in apparel. The difference between then and now, however, is the fact that wearable tech in the past reflected society’s obsessions with cyborgs while wearable tech today focus on a wider spectrum of things – mobility, style, design, connectedness, productivity and understanding of the self through lifelogging functions.

Read more: Wearable Solar’s Prototype Dress Combines Fashion With Phone-Charging Capabilities and Smarty Pants: Sensor-Laden Fabrics Shape Future Apparel

Image credited to Garments of Paradise: Wearable Discourse in the Digital Age (left) and International Business Times (right)

Smart watches

wristwatch

The wristwatch, which was first invented by Breguet (although some have disputes about who invented the wristwatch), is what many have considered to be the most successful wearable tech so far. Traditionally, these wristwatches play a huge part in lifelogging because they allow the simple telling of time to document at which particular moment were we performing a certain act. Yet, since its invention, the wristwatch has evolved to become what we deem as smart watches, allowing a higher level of digital lifelogging that goes beyond the telling of time, to functioning as a pedometer, a thermometer and a GPS navigator all at the same time. Now we can all know how many steps we’ve taken to reach a particular place at a particular time under the sweltering heat of X degrees Celsius. Have these functions been essential in your personal lifelogging journey?

Read more: Japan Airlines trials smartwatches and iBeacons to improve service at the gate and The Beginner’s Guide to Quantified Self (Plus, a List of the Best Personal Data Tools Out There)

Image credited to Breguet (left) and Pebble (right)

Wearable computers

wearable computers

Wearable computers have existed since the 1960s. The first wearable computer was a heads-up display (left) funded by ARPA that was called the Sword of Damocles (Disclaimer: we have no idea why that name either). The first of these had their roots in the casino and were used to predict the outcome of roulette games. However, as it evolved, more and more people found themselves using wearable computers for the purpose of lifelogging since they could easily store information about their lives wherever they went. Today, wearable computers have, like the smart apparel discussed above, become much sleeker and more stylish. Yet even though they have become more fashionable, wearable computers today are still greeted with much stares, both in the positive and negative light.

Image credited to io9 (left) and Forbes (right)

Social media and the collective narrative

social media

Today, social media has so largely infiltrated our lives that some have even become so addicted to it that deprivation can lead to various withdrawal symptoms. Not only do these social media platforms tell the stories of our own lives, our family’s and friends’ lives, as well as our pets’ lives, but they also offer a collective narrative when these lifelogging data are brought together. And if we were to loosely define social media as a platform by which people create, share and exchange information to form social interactions, the earliest form of social media could be dated back to 1940 where handwritten posters were put up in prominent locations. Perhaps the difference between then and now is the actual physical contact and social interactions that people had in the past, versus our virtual thumbs-up and comments carefully shielded by a computer screen today.

Image credited to Harold Jarche (left) and Social Media Marketing (right)

Where are we headed?

So as we gather more inspiration from the past and from old sci-fi movies, many new tech gadgets will see themselves being released in the market. Some take off while others are simply mocked at to be absolutely ridiculous. Until that point at which the market is in absolute equilibrium with just the right mix of lifelogging tools, I guess one key question remains in Mr. Ford’s quote – are all the factors that make for (lifelogging) progress ready?

Image credited to Gemma Correll

Read more: Before You Prototype a Tech Product, Ask These 5 Questions and Wearable Technology – UK and US Facts & Figures and The future is now: The 10 gadgets that will change your life

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This week in lifelogging: the futuristic home

Magic in the mundane


Just a few a weeks ago, we at Narrative discussed how a typical day at work might look like 5 to 10 years from now in This week in lifelogging: the futuristic workplace. Yet, we all know that home is where the heart is. So today, we will be discussing matters of the heart in what might look like home in years to come. The video you see above shows how one man, Mr. David Rose, sees a future where we can all live like wizards. ‘Enchanted objects’, as he calls it, are ordinary things that have the same function as before, except now they can talk and are connected. In other words, they are simply ordinary things with extraordinary capabilities. Besides using the Narrative Clip that we absolutely love, Rose also sees a futuristic home adorned with various ‘enchanted objects’ like smart cutlery that monitor our eating habits, a table fitted with Google Earth so we can explore and talk about the world with our children, as well as smart umbrellas that are connected to weather forecasts to remind you to bring them out when it is about to rain. Perhaps the beauty in all of this lies in technology helping us with the mundane aspects so that we can free up time to be better family members or simply more human at home. What will you want in your futuristic home?

Read more: Putting Magic in the Mundane

Video credited to The New York Times

Handmade “Google Glass” by the little ones

And if you foresee your futuristic home to be buzzing with activities because your little ones are programming prodigies who love hacking every ordinary thing to become an enchanted object, you’re probably not alone. The parents of 13-year-old Clay Haight are just soaking in what their child has created – the most adorable Google Glass yet. Even though what the tech giant created in its latest piece of wearable tech has been highly contentious, what Clay created is seen as both cute and cool. With whatever money he saved, Clay managed to purchase an Arduino Microboard, a battery and a 3D printer to print the glass frame. These items, together with his passion for gadgets and instructions from hobbyist site Make: magazine, allowed Clay to create his version of the Google Glass that allows him to run around the house and tell his parents the temperature just for fun. Now we all wonder if Google is just waiting for Clay to grow up, in order to welcome him with open arms into the company.

Read more: DIY “Google Glass” and Holidays go hi-tech: Google Glass and other cutting-edge travel gadgets

Image credited to Make:

Focus for the whole family

Or if all that flurry of activities from your little ones is causing you to lose focus at the full spectrum of household activities that you have to get done, Melon could just be the solution for knowing whether you could beat that productivity loss with some country music that you enjoy. Melon is an activity tracker for your brain that teaches you about cognitive performance. It tracks several mental states including focus, relaxation and meditation, and then wireless communicates with your smart phone to help you understand how you feel and teaches you how to improve. The basic idea of Melon stems from how the things around us affect our mental states, both positively and negatively. By understanding that data better, one can then train his/her brain to attain their desired mental state.

Read more: Meet Melon: The quantified self headband to help calm your brain and get you focused again

Image credited to Melon

A collective narrative

In the video above, you would find what is created by the Human smartphone app makers as they draw maps of urban movement happening around the world. From walking to running routes, as well as cycling and driving routes, the visualisation of these collective personal data is not just aesthetically beautiful, but have also been able to garner insights on a larger scale, which could be used for better urban planning. Besides generating these visualisations, the information was also used to rank the cities in order of what their top mode of transport was. Amsterdam topped the list for cycling, while Washington topped it for walking and Berlin for running. According to Eric Boam from The Guardian, “When we aggregate the right data and tell our stories collectively, they become a powerful social narrative. Under the right scenarios, they can even act as an agent of change in the world.” According to him, this has already happened in 2009 when two data researchers told a story powerful enough for New York City to shelve their re-zoning plans, using real-time data collected by the smartphones of workers in a specific district. Perhaps we are the agents of the change that we want to see, beginning from our own homes. What do you think?

Read more: Telling stories about ourselves through big data and wearable technology and Inside The Bizarre, Data-Driven World Of Lifeloggers

Video credited to Human

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This week in lifelogging: a day in the life of…

A day in the life of a modern family member

When it comes to lifelogging, there is so much talk going on about fitness trackers, smart watches and all things that make the adult life more productive and efficient. Yet, lifelogging really is for all ages, shapes and sizes. From cradle to grave, all day every day, lifelogging could be a very useful habit to get into for the betterment of one’s life. Stereotypically, mothers could use the Jawbone UP wristband to track her health and happiness, fathers could use a little help from the OM Signal while he works out in the gym, while little darlings can put on the Mimo Baby Monitor for young parents to track their baby’s vital signs. For the elderly grandparent, Vesag could be an excellent way for their medicine reminders or to call for help in times of emergency. Lastly, not forgetting the family’s best friend, FitBark could be useful as a dog monitor and tracker. On a sunny day out, Sensblok also offers real-time monitoring of environmental data to help you make decisions that keeps every one safe and healthy. There’s simply something for every one on every occasion!

Read more: Wearable Technology For Every Member of the “Modern” Family and Becoming Cyborgs: 8 Gadgets That Augment Us and In the Details: Making a Smart Ring That Women Would Actually Want to Wear

Image credited to Teen Challenge Queensland

A day in the life of kids brought back to the past

With all these new gadgets for the entire family, a tinge of amazement has to go into how futuristic some of them actually look and become as time progresses. It is unimaginable ten years ago how wearable computers could even exist and can be as sleek as a pair of spectacles worn on one’s face. Yet, no matter how futuristic any of them look right now, these gadgets can one day become obsolete – useful only for making videos like the one you see above. In a bid to create some humour, entertainment and maybe even some sort of awakening, The Fine Bros have compiled a video of kids’ reactions to the once raved about Nintendo Game Boy. Indeed, technology becomes outdated if it doesn’t become better, quickly. Perhaps we will need more inspiration from Star Trek, which has been predicting the future since 1966.

Video credited to The Fine Bros

A day in the life of a potato farmer

Now even though the children from the previous video seem to detest things of the past like the Game Boy, we are certain that they would thoroughly fancy this next thing that has existed for a long time now – potato crisps. The story of Walkers Crisps began in 1948, when butcher Henry Walker started making crisps in his Leicester Plant to keep his workers busy, as meat was scarce in post-war Britain. Many years have passed but the quality of Walkers Crisps persist, now made even better with the help of technology. Yet, besides adopting new technology to grow the potatoes used for Walkers Crisps, they have also made use of new technology (The Narrative Clip!!) to provide its loyal supporters with an insider look into the preparation and planting process at the potato farms. Now that you know where your Walkers Crisps come from, perhaps it seems like an even deeper connection has been forged between you and that next bag of crisps in the kitchen cabinet that you’re about to open. Enjoy!

Video credited to PepsiCoUK

A day in the life of a British Airways passenger

If all that talk about potato farms and British Walkers Crisps is calling out to you, and you have this unexplainable urge to visit England, how about booking a trip right now through British Airways? With an airlines that is constantly searching for ways to make customers feel happier each time they fly, you can be sure that your utmost welfare is taken care of throughout the entire flight. In their most recent move to fulfil this promise to their customers, they have launched The Happiness Blanket, a device that measures and monitors passengers’ happiness levels and then changes colour to reflect their mood. In this way, British Airways will know exactly if the bright lights in the aircraft is causing anxiety, or if the food is not making passengers feel at home. Cool initiative, isn’t it?

Read more: 25 totally unnecessary but desirable travel gadgets

Video credited to British Airways

A day in the life of a Barcelonian

Or if you’re more of a Park Güell or Sagrada Familia person, then this video is probably going to interest you a lot more than potato farms or British Airways. After 363 hours of work and 817GB of data, filmmaker Rob Whitworth has created this amazing flow-motion video of Barcelona. Simply amazing! We hope you have a great weekend ahead that is nothing short of this amazing video!

Video credited to Rob Whitworth on Vimeo

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This week in lifelogging: of food fads and world’s weddings

Extreme food fads throughout history

One segment of lifelogging is the documentation of our meals. After all, we are what we eat and different cultures all around the world are partly defined by its varying food habits. One artist in particular, decides to take it to the extreme by exploring terrible constrictions of diets and deprivation in celebrities. In his series known as Still Diet, Dan Bannino intentionally sets up representations of these diets. The picture you see above is one of Lord Byron’s “Romantic poet’s diet”, comprising potatoes drenched in vinegar, poetry and soda water. In another, Dan features Bill Clinton’s cabbage soup diet and Kate Moss’ Hollywood diet. What’s your diet like?

Read more: The Most Extreme Food Fads Throughout History, From Henry VIII To Beyonce

Image credited to Dan Bannino

Behold the future of food photography

Well, hang on! Before you run along and set up the dining table to feature your unique diet, maybe you’d like to check this out. With people all around the world obsessing over getting the perfect picture of what they’re eating, MWEB (a WiFi provider), decided to partner with South African restaurant El Burro to debut #dinnercam to the public. Wondering what exactly is #dinnercam? Simply put, it’s a lightbox that can instantly bring food photography to the next level. Here’s how it works. For absolutely no fee, diners who wish to take a more professional snapshot of their meal can request for #dinnercam, which features several light settings – from green to purple to traditional white. Subsequently, after snapping a picture, #dinnercam sends it right to your mobile device. Say goodbye to just sitting around and being envious of stunning food photography from all around the world. Are you a foodie who’s ready to try #dinnercam out or do you think that this is one step too far?

Read more: New #dinnercam takes food photography to the next level and Best Of Instagram Food Photography

Video credited to MWEB

World’s biggest wedding

Besides food, one other major aspect defining different cultures of the world is this big event – weddings. From the blackening of the bride to jumping over a broom, all sorts of weird and wonderful wedding traditions exist and they are all worth documenting. For the couple you see in the picture above, how they wanted their big day to be different from others’ was to break the world record for the biggest wedding after walking down the aisle with a staggering 126 bridesmaids. The newlyweds, Nisansala and Nalin from Sri Lanka, smashed the previous world record of 96 bridesmaids, held by a Thai couple who got married in Bangkok. How would you like your big day to be different?

Read more: Couple break wedding world record with 126 bridesmaids, 25 best men, 20 page boys and 23 flower girls and The most amazing wedding venues in the world and This Exquisite Timelapse Of The Natural World Is An Instant Classic

Image credited to Mirror

Making art out of the data of everyday life

From small events like meal times to bigger events like weddings, documenting them have become an integral part of our life and can be termed lifelogging. For avid lifeloggers like Eugene Granovsky, lifelogging could mean taking an Instagram photo at 8:36pm every day. To him, the whole point of this self-tracking is so that he can be the best person he can be. He mentions that any newcomers to lifelogging begin by tracking things that are easily quantifiable, like how much they’ve slept or the number of steps they’ve taken today. However, for him, he believes that lifelogging is as much a philosophy as it is about the numbers. And that’s why he takes the daily instagram, which serves as a trigger to remember what he was doing that day. “It’s the mundane parts of life,” says Granovsky. “That’s what makes it interesting.” For others like Stephen Cartwright, lifelogging data is turned into art. His sculpture Deviation, based on his physical location (latitude and elevation) over a period of several months, is currently on display, along with a dozen other life-data-based works, at the Elmhurt Art Museum in an exhibit called “LifeLoggers: Chronicling the Everyday.” How would you use your lifelogging data?

Read more: Making art out of the data of everyday life

Image credited to Elmhurst Art Museum

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This week in lifelogging: the futuristic workplace

Exploding wearables market

The lifelogging movement is closely intertwined with a market trend that is growing swiftly – the use of wearable technology. Wearable technology has existed since a long time ago and apparently has its roots in the casino. It has come a long way and has since been developed in all shapes and functions, whether in the form of fitness trackers, smart watches or wearable cameras. Moreover, the core components of wearable tech are also becoming even more flexible with the possible development of thread-like batteries powering wearable tech in future. With these innovations that are further propagated by tech giants jumping on the bandwagon of wearables, it is no wonder that the wearable tech market is estimated to worth $8.36 billion by 2018. Besides being used for personal tracking or the quantified self, these devices can also be used collectively in the workplace. This could be pretty difficult to imagine, isn’t it? Therefore today, we would like to help you paint a picture of the futuristic workplace in a world of wearables.

Read more: Is the Wearable Market About to Explode? and Forget the Quantified Self. We Need to Build the Quantified Us

Image credited to Ian Allen | Wired

That cuppa in the morning!

UP coffee

It is 9am on Monday morning. You belong to the group who believes that life does not begin until after coffee or tea. You head over to your office’s coffee machine and hit that button. That cup of brewing hot coffee or tea is just what you needed to get your brain ticking. Single shot espresso or double? Should I have that cup right now to optimise productivity? Questions questions questions, just before you hit those buttons. To answer them all, Jawbone has launched a new lifelogging tool – the Jawbone UP coffee – which reveals just how your body reacts to caffeine. Simply log for 3 days to see how you compare with other drinkers or for 7 days to reveal your Caffeine Persona. This tool could be what you need to maximise your productivity at work or to remind your colleagues to wait for 45 more minutes before they hit that next cup! At your wish, perhaps you could also send that data to your boss to hint for a cup of strong aromatic coffee from that favourite coffee chain down the road when the coffee machine is out of order (;

Image credited to Jawbone UP

Working together

With wearable tech boasting to boost productivity by almost 10 percent, it is no wonder that companies and individuals alike are slowing opting into the use of wearable tech in the workplace. After all, who doesn’t like shorter work hours as a result of being productive? In the picture above, you would find a representation of a study, in which 80 workers were randomly assigned three wearable devices over three weeks; the Lumo Back, which monitors your posture, the NeuroSky, a headset which uses sensors to translate brain activity into action, and GeneActiv, a watch-style wristband that gathers motion data. The result? When wearing the devices, worker productivity has been said to increase by 8.5 percent, while job satisfaction levels rose by 3.5 percent. Are you up for this?

Read more: Wearables can boost employee productivity by almost 10pc

Image credited to The Telegraph

Lunch time workout-mania!

Instead of going for desserts after lunch to maximise that one hour lunch break that you have, maybe this would motivate you to get fit; co-workers becoming competitors in the race to fitness and health. As part of The Outside View’s Health, Wealth and Happiness programme, which could be likened to the company’s version of Google’s 20% time (where engineers are given an opportunity to work on side projects), employees of The Outside View are required to download a variety of smartphone apps that help them to track everything from the amount of time they sleep, the distance they walk or run, what they eat, how much time they spend sitting at their desk and even their ‘happiness’ levels. After all, a happy customer starts from a happy employee, so the return on investment in health and happiness could be great for both the company and the individual.

Read more: These companies are tracking the fitness of their employees and Quantified Self? How About a Quantified Workplace?

Image credited to The Outside View

Stress begins building up

The clock is ticking. That report for the client is due in just 2 hours and is hardly completed. Even though exercising a few hours ago helped you to relieve stress, the deadline is causing you to yearn for that stick of cigarette you’ve grown to be reliant on. You need a smoke break. Or at least that’s what you think and what a particular company is determined to help you kick away. The Chrono Therapeutics’ SmartStop wearable is intended to help smokers leave cigarettes behind. Here’s how it works – the SmartStop is equipped with a transdermal nicotine delivery system that allows for a differential, timed-release of nicotine. This helps to automatically offset the most powerful cravings that any smoker might have and gradually helps him/her to quit smoking altogether. Would you give it a try?

Read more: Chrono Raises $32M to Make Smart Nicotine Patch

Image credited to Fox Business

Meeting minutes

Just recently, Salesforce.com, a CRM and cloud giant has launched the Salesforce Wear, which is a developer program that focuses on wearables for the enterprise. As part of this, the company has created six end-to-end applications for six wearable devices, including an app for the Samsung Gear that allows users to check who is attending a meeting and information about attendees. These six apps are to work together to provide solutions for problems currently faced in the workplace and hopefully help us all work smarter. Yay or nay?

Read more: Salesforce.com Wear launched for wearable app developers and The Wearable Era Is Here: Implications For The Future Workplace

Image credited to The Selwyn Foundation

Out of the office

Concluding the day could mean retail therapy for some, or an extra job at the local retail store. Whether you belong to the first or second group of people, BizTech believes that the first stop for wearables in businesses will arrive in the retail stores. This could mean equipping retail staff with wearables so that they can keep their hands free to assist customers better. Yet, be it in retail stores or offices, whether wearables will be introduced in the workplace on a larger scale than today will still have to depend on three factors according to Forbes – designing the workplace for wearables, not waiting for an industry-wide standardization, and being able to communicate openly about privacy and security. What else do you think needs to be done before wearables are fully integrated and ready for the workplace?

Read more: What Does Wearable Tech Mean for Businesses? and Why Wearable Tech Will Be as Big as the Smartphone

Image credited to Viral Heat

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This week in lifelogging: where are our smart phones headed?

Smarter smart phones?

 

We use our smart phones for everything. Yes, everything. Traditionally, because of the limited network and technical capabilities, the mobile phone was limited to users making phone calls and sending messages. However, as technology developed and consumers demanded, our smart phones now allow us to complete a whole spectrum of tasks on the go, most of which were quite unimaginable just a decade or two ago. The smart phone is gradually replacing all our gadgets – the point-and-shoot camera, the alarm clock and the calculator, for instance – to become that all-in-one product that we can easily slide into our pockets. And with lifelogging becoming such a hot topic these days, it is no wonder that various big brands are jumping onto the bandwagon of lifelogging, developing various wearable tech devices that accompany their core product, or even building lifelogging features into the smart phone. Today, we will do a quick round-up of what is happening in the lifelogging scene, specifically in the smart phone industry that we are familiar with.

Image credited to Afrobotic

Sony SmartBand

One notable piece of wearable tech device developed by tech giant Sony is the Sony SmartBand SWR10. All throughout the day from the moment you wake up to the time you fall asleep, this piece of wearable tech wants to help you make sense of your life as you live it. After a sneak preview at CES (video above), Sony released this SmartBand SWR10 officially earlier this year to help you keep track of everything, from how well you’ve slept to the number of calories you’ve burnt, or the songs you were listening to when you ran your fastest. As it is with many devices out there currently, the challenge is always about providing consumers with answers and not more data. However, with an accompanying Lifelog app, Sony is striving to package the data received into snippets that are easily understood. Dubbed to go great with its new Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z1, Sony is attempting to create an ecosystem consisting of the SmartBand, smart phone and Lifelog app to make sense of your life. Anyone tried it yet?

Video credited to Android Authority

Samsung

Samsung’s latest smart phone rave has been about its Samsung Galaxy S5. Although its built-in lifelogging features are far less extensive than Sony’s built-in Lifelog app and only includes a heart rate sensor, Samsung is building upon its S Health series to provide more features for the avid lifeloggers. This S Health series consists of the Samsung Gear Fit and Gear 2, and are compatible with the Galaxy S5 (and perhaps all future phones), to give you a comprehensive integration of fitness tracking apps to motivate you to get fit!

Image credited to Samsung

Apple iOS8

apple ios8

And of course we’re not forgetting the well-loved Apple. In their latest introduction of the upcoming iOS8, we see Apple also jumping onto the lifelogging track. Dedicating an entire section to feature their new Health app, Apple is determined to cause the “beginning of a health revolution”, as they say. This will be propelled forward by a new tool for developers known as HealthKit, which allows all fitness apps to work together. “When your health and fitness apps work together, they become more powerful. And you might, too.” is what Apple has outwardly expressed to be the motivation for this new feature in the iOS. Are you moved?

Image credited to Apple

Google’s lifelogging tools

Last but definitely not the least, we have our dearly beloved Mr. G. The very fact that Google has been made into a verb shows how much it has been intertwined with every portion of our lives. And it also shows just how likely this tech giant could potentially be the leader in the lifelogging scene. At the tip of the iceberg, Google has introduced the Android Wear Developer platform (video above) to call for the more intentional attitude and lifestyle of lifelogging to accompany its entire Android system that most smartphones run on. Step Sensors are but one of the many possibilities that can be derived through this developer platform. Are you ready to both generate and keep information close to you as you move?

Read more: Google Starts Its Very Own Wearable Technology Platform

Video credited to Android Developers

And we are heading towards…

For everything that we’ve seen today in the major players of the smart phone industry, one common concept that draws them altogether is this – calm technology. This prophetic concept (or perhaps self-fulfilling prophecy) relies on three principles:

  1. The user’s attention to the technology must reside mainly in the periphery. This means that either the technology can easily shift between the center of attention and the periphery or that much of the information conveyed by the technology is present in the periphery rather than the center.
  2. The technology increases a user’s use of his or her periphery. This creates a pleasant user experience by not overburdening the user with information.
  3. The technology relays a sense of familiarity to the user and allows awareness of the user’s surroundings in the past, present, and future.

Even though the technology in our smartphones is slowly heading towards the age of calm technology, much still remains to be explored as the tech giants currently only focus on fitness and health tracking apps. The big question remains: what would it really take for our smart phones (or some other futuristic device) to move beyond merely tracking our movements to truly embody the essence of lifelogging?

Read more: Calm Technology - Inspiring Developers and Digital Citizens

Image credited to Redefining Life Coaching

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This week in lifelogging: real-life superheroes, super Dads and the magnificent world they live in

Not all wear capes

Countless movies have been released year after year surrounding the theme of superheroes and their ability to save all of us from some sort of impending death. This year alone, we have our dearly beloved X-Men, Captain America and Spider-Man, amongst countless others in various forms like robots in Transformers or huge animals in Godzilla. Yet, to say that superheroes only exist in the movies is perhaps making a claim that is too unrealistic. Even though we don’t see flying people or giant creatures that save us from our own destruction, fact is – superheroes do exist. They exist in forms that are so indistinguishable from everyday people like you and me. Therefore, in a bid to prevent the next generation from believing that superheroes only exist in fictitious movies, one photographer by the name of Brandon Cawood has gone about documenting the lives of these real-life superheroes. Through a series called “Not All Wear Capes“, Cawood hopes to remind us to honour the men and women who risk their lives for the good of the society on a daily basis. From firefighters and policemen to healthcare professionals, these are indeed the groups of people who have put their best foot forward to save us all from human and natural disasters. Kudos to all of them!

Read more: Artistic Photo Series Reminds Us That The True Superheroes Among Us Don’t Wear Capes

Image credited to Brandon Cawood

Of life and loss

Well of course, one key difference between the superheroes we see in the movies and in real life is the fact that real-life superheroes are going to depart from this Earth one day. Time on Earth is not infinite, and that is also why lifelogging is so essential – both for people to reminisce upon the greatest and happiest moments here on Earth, yet more importantly to serve as timely reminders and life lessons for the future generations that they will never meet. To fulfil both of these purposes for lifelogging, photographer Andrew George decides to embark on a project that documents everyday heroes in their final moments of life. This series, known as “Right, before I die“, visually journals what people felt were their greatest contributions, their greatest regrets, as well as other heart-wrenching lessons they learnt over the course of their lives.

Read more: Heartbreaking Photo Project Captures Everyday Heroes In Their Last Moments Of Life

Image credited to Andrew George

Celebrating Super Dads!


And of course, one of those everyday heroes close to our hearts are definitely the fathers. For all the times they have answered our calls, screams and cries, and dutifully provided for the family, perhaps it is now time to shower them with a little more love than we think they need. This Father’s Day, Dove has put together a touching video that portrays Dads caring for their little bundles of joy. Despite their strong front, Dads do deserve that outward expression of our love towards them. So spend some quality time with your dads this Father’s Day and here are some DIY Father’s Day gift ideas if you’re stuck. Happy Father’s Day to all and feel free to comment below if you have an amazing Dad story to share!

Read more: What Father’s Day Means When You Never Had a Father and 3 Incredibly Touching Father’s Day Ads

Video credited to Dove Men Care

The world in which they live

Despite the countless differences amongst the above superheroes, one thing that draws them all together is the fact that they live in a fascinating world that is worth logging and documenting about before they disappear or alter. From magnificent landscapes and endangered animal species to disappearing cultures, many photographers have set their hearts to capture them before they are absolutely gone. The picture above, for instance, is taken by Robb Kendrick, showing how a little girl is receiving blessings from The Elephant Velliamma at Nataraja Temple in India. Change is unstoppable in our society, sometimes accelerating at a pace faster than we ever hoped for. Perhaps the one thing that we can all do to seemingly slow things down is then to pursue an active lifelogging attitude to document the world before change takes over.

Read more: National Geographic Photos Capture The Beauty Of The World More Than Words Ever Could and 12 Absolutely Mesmerizing Photos From The 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Image credited to Christie | National Geographic

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This week in lifelogging: 2014 World Cup and everything you would want to know about it

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner. The heat is on, as we all around the world wait in anticipation to see who will clinch the championship title in the end. Running from 12 June to 13 July 2014, this year’s World Cup will take place in Brazil and you could find the exact match schedule here! We at Narrative are also extremely excited because we know that there is at least one Narrative Clip that will be present in Brazil to capture those special moments, thanks to a Narrative Clip user Richard Glenn. Yet before all that action happens next week, we already see some pre-match lifelogging taking place – everything from individual players, within and between the teams, as well as from a macro country’s perspective. From heart-wrenching stories to uncertain outcomes, the author is set to convert anyone who cannot stand watching 20-odd men chasing after a single soccer ball. Are you moved?

Read more: 7 Dramatic Storylines to Make Anyone a World Cup Soccer Fan and World Cup Players To Watch For, Part I: Groups A & B

Image credited to FIFA

Fixtures and results beautifully displayed

sports interaction

Now if you find that the above match schedule is too incomprehensive, you could also head over here for the most beautifully and clearly displayed fixtures. Besides knowing exactly when your favourite team will be playing under the tab “groups”, you could also see how the teams advance under the tab “knockout” – from top 16 to the quarter finals, to the semi finals and eventually the final showdown. You could even click on a specific country to discover fun facts like the number of games played, won, drawn and lost. Isn’t it great how someone is keeping a record of everything at the 2014 World Cup and making it so aesthetically beautiful and easy to follow?

Image credited to Sports Interaction

World Cup kits through the ages

world cup kits

And if you’ve stuck around with the World Cup for a long time now, you would probably have certain team jerseys that you loved and others that you absolutely abhor. Can’t remember which were the ones that fell into those two categories? Not to worry! The team at The Guardian has designed an interactive guide to the World Cup kits through the ages since it began in 1930. Simply click on the team you’re interested in and the guide will take you through the number of tournaments played and won, as well as the soccer gear that they put on for the matches. Now you can show off a little more of that sartorial history of your favourite teams and their rivals to those who are unaware of this great graphic. Notice how the fashion in soccer evolved so much for countries like USA and Colombia, and hardly did for others like Switzerland and Argentina! Any one that you particularly fancy this year?

Image credited to The Guardian

Wearable technology for sports

With the rise in use of wearable tech devices for the purpose of lifelogging or fitness tracking, many have predicted that wearable tech for sports will be the wave of the future. In the picture you see above, you would find what is known as the Spree Headband, which measures your heart rate, speed, distance, time and calories burnt amongst other metrics. Besides Spree, one noteworthy tech start-up in Cambridge, MC10, is also playing with a prototype of its Biostamp. This device is a barely visible 2-square-inch patch, designed to stick on any body part like a second skin and record biometric data from heart rate and hydration levels to muscle activity and sleep patterns. This flexible patch of second skin will definitely make it easy for athletes to move about as they wish without feeling like a device is holding them back. Perhaps some athletes at the 2014 World Cup will also be wearing some of these devices so do keep a lookout!

Read more: Sports wearables are the wave of the future and Moving us forward: The rise of wearable technology in sports

Image credited to Portable Studios

Better smashes

And if all that talk about the 2014 FIFA World Cup is still not going to convert you to a fan because you simply adore Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova or Serena Williams too much, or are a tennis player yourself, then you might be interested in this wearable tech device that we are about to introduce. The black wristband that you see in the picture above is known as Smash, and prides itself in being the game changing tennis wearable. Smash gives you insights into your game and then advises you on points of improvement. From that backhand swing to the volley, Smash takes hundreds of measurements in a second to give you a detailed picture of your game. It also allows you to compete against others and yourself so that you will be motivated to improve your strokes. Interested in Smash? Head over to their Kickstarter campaign to support them now. Have a smashing good weekend!

Read more: Smash wearable tech helps tennis players improve their game

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This week in lifelogging: travel episode 1

Traveling with the Narrative Clip

Wine

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien.

For all of you who constantly live in wanderlust, this famous quote is perhaps the life motto by which you live. And maybe it is now time to take your little Narrative Clip on a world tour. For instance, one of the Narrative Clip users who also happens to be an avid backpacker, Richard Glenn, mentioned that his first trip with the Clip will be to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this June! We are so excited to hear more from him! And if you’re already planning for a trip and are taking the Narrative Clip with you, here are three quick tips we have for you:

1. Explore new ways of wearing the Clip

Besides clipping the Clip to your t-shirt, explore new ways of stabilizing the Clip. Perhaps to a juice box on your dining table? Or to your huge bag-pack? You might just be surprised at the results you get! In the picture you see above, one of Narrative’s founders got creative and managed to piece together a time-lapse video of the sunset in Sicily captured with the Narrative Clip atop a wine bottle. Let your creative juices flow!

2. Take the road less traveled and just wander around

With the Narrative Clip automatically snapping pictures every 30 seconds, you certainly do not want hundreds of photos of your map, as you figure out how to get from one tourist attraction to another. So how about you just walk with your eyes wide open, follow some locals to the fish market or just hang out where everything is foreign and untouched by the mass of visiting tourists?

3. Soak in the moments and don’t hurry from one place to another 

Now since you know that the Narrative Clip is automatically capturing your moments for you, how about disconnecting yourself from your mobile phones and get away from that subtle need to whip out your phones to upload that very moment to Instagram? After all, who says you can’t #latergram? So don’t rush from one place to another just so you can upload another photo onto your Instagram account. Take it all in and enjoy the special moments, be it alone or with your travel companions.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller. Like this quote, we hope that the Narrative Clip can accompany you to offer new perspectives while you travel. Bon voyage!

Read more: My Narrative Clip Has Arrived and The Best Travel Advice We’ve Ever Heard

Best travel destinations

So with all that tips on taking the Narrative Clip to travel, where exactly should you go? Well, if you had been stuck in the cold dark winters, how about a trip to Cancun, Mexico or Rio de Janeiro in Brazil? Here are two lists for best destinations to travel in June and July 2014. Whether is it escaping the bitter winters to a sunny hot island or embracing the knee-high snow after the year-round summer, there’s certainly something for everyone! Now if you’re a tech junkie when it comes to traveling, you might also want to download these useful (FREE!) apps to bring along, apart from the Narrative Clip that you’ve already packed in your luggage. And if you happen to come to Sweden, be sure to drop by our office and say hej (:

Image credited to 10 BEST

Travel photography tips

And if you’re still bent on logging your travel stories with Instagram, here are some really useful tips to get the most out of your photo diaries. For the sake of this social media platform, you could get on high viewing platforms, learn where the photogenic spots are from the locals, and learn to embrace bad weather. And if you’re using a point-and-shoot camera, this “Rule of Thirds” could be an extremely good tip for a great photograph! Go ahead and work those gadgets you brought along to the ends of the earth!

Read more: How to take good Instagram photos when you travel and Five Photography Tips To Help Improve Your Travel Photos

Image credited to CNN

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This week in lifelogging: beyond human imagination, building real memories and embracing wearables

“Reality” in the age of photoshop

When we think about lifelogging, we often think about it in terms of documenting and reviewing our lives through static journals of words and pictures. However, one particular photographer has offered a different perspective to this using the pictures that he takes in his everyday life. In a TEDTalk (watch it here!), Erik Johansson explained that he felt that photography these days seem to be all about being at the right place at the right time. However, he wanted to create something different. He wanted to perhaps play with the mind a little to present pictures that seemed almost impossible – taking different pieces of reality to make them an ultimate reality, as he says. To do this, he combines several pictures into one, taken at the same height and with similar types of light, and then makes each picture indistinguishable in terms of where they begun or ended. In his own words “the only thing that limits us is our imagination”. So maybe it’s time to whip out your lifelogs and see how you can combine them in some way to offer a fresh perspective to what you were doing or looking at. Check out more of his works here!

Read more: Reality in the age of photoshop and Photographer Reveals the Lonely Side of Superheroes and Lego Travellers Build Memories With Creative Vacation Photos

Image credited to Erik Johansson

Stepping away from the mobile phone

Apart from photographers like Erik Johansson, we also see a surge of non-professional photographers (ie. most people like you and me) in modern photography, obsessing over getting the perfect picture, which is made especially convenient with good enough cameras on the smart phone. On the surface, many might believe that the mountain of pictures taken will be able to jolt their true memories. However, many studies have posed serious concerns over the obsession in digitally documenting every part of our lives using our mobile phones, especially when it comes at the expense of truly living in the moment. In a podcast by NPR, they discuss about the effect of photographing more while experiencing less. This in turn, has an effect on our memories, because we no longer pay attention to the moments, but let the photographs determine the way we remember everything. In their words, “As soon as you hit click on that camera, it’s as if you’ve outsourced your memory.” This gave rise to their little project #fakememory, which encourages people to upload old photos of themselves that they think they remember only because they saw that picture. Do you have one of those?

Read more: Overexposed? Camera Phones Could Be Washing Out Our Memories and Take Fewer Photos. Make More Memories

Image credited to Matt Jabs

Replacing smartphones?

Perhaps then, one way to curb the concerns above would be to embrace the wave of wearable tech devices that is coming at us. With so much talk about “cumbersome” smartphones actually being replaced by multiple wearable devices and other technologies, maybe this hands-free solution is truly key to integrating the use of technology seamlessly into our lives, and be that bridge between human-human, human-computer and computer-computer interactions. Are we ready to embrace the future of wearable tech devices in every form like nail art, expressive hats and smoke machines, motorised dresses that keep people away on crowded subways, or even chic little clutches that wireless charge our phones?

Read more: Wearable tech can be implanted in brains, thanks to new power technique

Image credited to Wired

Storm-chasers and the futuristic Emirates

Surely though, we at Narrative love wearables when it comes to lifelogging. We also love time-lapse movies because we believe they offer more perspective than looking at individual photographs. So to end off this week in lifelogging, we would like to show you this amazing time-lapse movie captured of a massive thunderstorm in eastern Wyoming last Sunday evening. This one in particular is about a low-precipitation supercell, which has a rotating current of rising air known as updraft that gives it the appearance of spaceships with a rotating cloud base. Have a good weekend ahead!

Watch more: You’ve Never Seen a Thunderstorm Move Like This and Impressive timelapse brings you the futuristic Emirates from every angle and This ten-year timelapse of the 9/11 memorial gives us a powerful reminder

Video credited to BasehuntersChasing

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