Category Archives: This week in lifelogging

This week in lifelogging

This week in lifelogging: can we manage the data we find?

Preparing for the Age of Data

Last week, we discussed how the digital age has forever altered the way we process anything, such as the need to quantify everything we do or see, which really is a sub-component of lifelogging. With that comes plenty of personal data that we can now analyse and work on for the betterment of our lives. Yet, with that amount of personal data, are we really managing it in a way that we had set out to when we collected them in the first place? According to a survey done by the Acquity Group, 53% of Millennials (ages 18-25) plan to buy an in-home IoT technology device in the next five years, compared to 32% of Baby Boomers (over the age of 45). What this means is a whole load more of personal data that we will end up collecting, in hopes that the Quantified Self will lead to a Better-Qualified Self. But are we ready to manage all that data?

Read more: Survey finds generation gaps in adoption of new tech and Preparing for the Internet of Things

Image credited to ICTS

It just boils down to self

Perhaps the good news is this: that even if we are not able to manage the heaps of data that we gather from our personal trackers, the act of tracking in itself has at least motivated some of us to get our lazy bums off that couch to go do something. And that’s what Jon Jordan found. He found that purchasing a sports tracker actually helped him to fire the starting gun. And despite his stance on this, he also believes that “while the device provides a spur to action, it isn’t enough in the long run without a certain level of self-determination.” In the long run too, he realises that he cared less and less about the data, although he maintained choosing the healthier or better option whenever he put on his self-tracking device. To this, he cleverly draws a parallel with the Panopticon (the effect of knowing you’re being or could be observed), even if he’s the only person looking at the data. The wearables Panopticon has pushed him to his best behaviour. Do you identify with this?

Read more: Quantified Self just boils down to Self: What I’ve learned from two years of wearables

Image credited to Consummate Leader

Apple turning the tide

Still others are taking it upon Apple to bring the waves of self-tracking technology to its next higher level with the new Apple Watch that is due to launch in 2015. Reason being, some foresee that any new device for existing technologies that Apple introduces will soon reach mass adoption. Others are also betting on Apple because of how it has “an unbelievable number of users who are on the same hardware system, so when they push a product out, it has better ecosystem than anyone else”. Still others are counting on practical applications of identity relationship management, which really is there to provide both the security and the personalisation needed to realise the value of wearable technology, such as how users will be able to securely share online medical data in order to provide better results from their health trackers. What do you think?

Read more: Rise of mindful tech: every step you take, every move you make and Identity Management in the age of wearable technology

Image credited to Apple

Who will emerge as winner?


And while Apple is scurrying around and pushing for the Apple Watch launch in early 2015, it looks like China smartphone maker Xiaomi has beaten Apple in terms of release dates for fitness trackers. And also in terms of price (even though Apple Watch doesn’t have a definitive price tag to it yet)! The Xiaomi Mi Band, retailing at $35, is said to be comparable in terms of certain functions that current fitness trackers like Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP boast of. One major downside though, is its limited access to third party apps, which could really prove to be very useful in the area of the Quantified Self. Is the Xiaomi Mi Band enough to win your wrist and wallet over?

Read more: Xiaomi Mi Band: at just $13, all flaws are forgiven (REVIEW)

Image credited to Xiaomi

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This week in lifelogging: how the digital age has forever changed the way we process anything

Evolution of how we process things

Lifelogging is related to how we’ve decided that the digital age should and could be used for the betterment of our own lives. This subsequently led to the Quantified Self and the Internet of Things, as well as the rise in use of wearable tech devices. The digital age has brought along many changes. Not only have the things we brought to school to show our friends just how cool we are transformed from Pokemon cards and mood rings to the latest headphones or smart pens, our minds are slowly altered in the way we process anything at all. Whether it’s for the better or the worse, here are a few ways the digital age has impacted us as some food for thought for the weekend!

Read more: The Quantified Self community, lifelogging and the making of “smart” publics and 5 psychological challenges facing wearables, quantified self and behavior change apps

Image credited to Faith on Campus

All things are “ask Google”

Many of us trust Google more than ourselves. Whether it is with mapping our route home from work or checking who died in the latest Game of Thrones episode, we do what we do best – Google it. According to a study done by a spatial geographer at the University of Tokyo, participants who used GPS navigation performed 20% worse than their paper map peers when asked to recall various aspects of the surroundings. And while this may spell catastrophe for people who are concerned with the development of our brains, others have also welcomed Google Maps with open arms, quoting that there are now more kids exploring the world from their laptops before they reach the age where they can travel by themselves. And with Google approaching 1.6 billion facts in its Knowledge Vault, which is really the foundation of smartphone and robotic intelligence, anything could be asked with accuracy in the near future. What the Knowledge Vault represents, is also the possibility of medical breakthroughs and the discovery of trends as it sifts through humongous amounts of information.

Read more: Smartphones and the Uncertain Future of ‘Spatial Thinking’ and Google’s Knowledge Vault already contains 1.6 billion facts

Image credited to City Lab

All things are shared and social

Narrative 100M Photos_Infographic-page-001

Click on picture above for full infographic

The digital age also brought along that one thing we now know as not-so-social media. Looking at photos alone, we have shared a collective 1.8 billion photos in the year 2014. That’s a huge jump from the 274 million photos we shared in 2013, which could be largely attributed to Snapchat and Facebook. And the fact that the headlines in an article reads “Facebook just changed its News Feed yet again. Here’s how it could affect you“, shows just how much we have allowed Facebook to actually affect us. And that’s not even including that one time when people started calling the police when Facebook went down for a bit. Yet once again, not all’s bad of course. With the increase in people sharing things on social media, people are now more aware of things that happen globally in general. Take ALS for instance. As of the end of August 2014, $100 million and greater awareness have gone towards supporting a cause that previously received little attention. Not only have we become more of a global citizen, we have also been given opportunities to experience things we might never have the courage nor opportunity to do through the eyes of someone’s camera. The two time-lapse videos below are examples of these for someone who might never get a chance to visit California, or Burning Man. Enjoy!

Read more: Stunning California Time-Lapse Is Your Mental Vacation and Epic Memories: A Breathtaking Burning Man Time-lapse Video

All things are quantified

Every mile we run and every workout session should be accompanied by our fitness trackers. As defined by The Huffington Post, “The Quantified Self is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical)”. And even though perhaps the obsession with data is not currently matched up with the benefits that the analysis of these personal data can bring to us, other benefits of this self-tracking movement can already begin to unveil. These include knowing the exact amount of sunlight you need to take in to improve your mood, health, focus and sleep as tracked by SunSprite and how even gun violence could now be tracked with smart wristbands. Have you been tracking or quantifying anything? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

Read more: Quantifying the LTR: How Couples Use Data For Healthy Relationships and Quantified Self just boils down to Self: What I’ve learned from two years of wearables

Image credited to Getty Images

All things could be archived for the generations to come

Lastly, with everything being quantified and sometimes even selectively shared or placed on the Google Search Engine, things could be archived for the people we never meet after our own deaths. Raising concerns with how these data are treated have already spurred tech giants to include various clauses in their privacy statements. Google, for instance, started the Inactive Account Manager feature last year, which enables Google users to either delete their account or nominate individuals who will gain access to it if they die or are incapacitated. And while traditional genetic data from ancient bones can reveal things like how Europeans could be drawn from a mix of three ancient populations, perhaps with the possibility to archive every little detail of our lives dawns upon us the availability of digital data that replaces fossils and bones. Digging up fossils and archaeological evidence could well be in itself a thing that becomes fossilised. And it’s a pity that digesting digital data instead of physical evidences would certainly not help us find such cute things as skeletons who have held each others’ hands for 700 years anymore.

Read more: Putting Time In Perspective and The pleasures and horrors of the digital afterlife

Image credited to University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS)

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This week in lifelogging: apart from Apple (featuring QS 2015, Sony EyeGlass and Google curing death)

Enough of Apple

tim cook

Apple has got its fair share of attention this week with its launch of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch on 9 September 2014. Haters, lovers, and several others who are sitting on the fence waiting for Tim Cook to answer their questions all have their eyes on Apple. We too are eagerly awaiting for how their first step into lifelogging with the new iOS8 would turn out for all the lifelogging enthusiasts out there. But yes, for now, we’d like to turn the attention away from Apple for just a little while. So besides all that exciting news from us at Narrative regarding the $8 million in new funding, crossing the 100 million photos mark, a new office in San Francisco and increased customer support hours (!!!), here’s everything else that is happening in the lifelogging scene recently!

Read more (if you must): Inside the Apple Watch: the Tech Behind Apple’s New Wearable and The Apple Watch and the Quantified Self Movement

Image credited to Apple

QS 2015 Conference

Each year, tens of thousands of people gather all around the globe for this one common purpose – to share their knowledge regarding the field of lifelogging and the Quantified Self (QS). This started from a single QS Show & Tell only about 7 years ago with 30 people, and has since grown to 110 independent QS groups in more than 30 countries. Even though these QS Meetups are all unique in the way each individual contributes to and shares about the QS movement, all of them work towards the common goal of self knowledge through numbers. And each year, some of the best experts in this field gather together for the QS Global Conference. Next year is no different, and the 2015 QS Global Conference will be held from 13-15 March by the San Francisco waterfront, with an additional third day for a Grand Public Exposition where toolmakers, artists, designers and pioneering self-trackers share their greatest learnings in the QS journey. Interested? Head over here to register for an early-bird ticket now!

Read more: Announcing QS15: The Quantified Self Conference & Exposition and Beautiful Visualizations of Lifelogging and Quantified Self Data

Image credited to QS

Google wants to cure death

And when we talk about making use of data for the betterment of one’s life, who does it better than our dear Mr. G? Last year, Google launched a company called Calico with the ambitious objective of extending our lives. Calico is the abbreviated form of California Life Company and will have Arthur D. Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech and Chairman of Apple, to be CEO and a founding investor. According to Arthur, “I’ve devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry’s focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I’m tremendously excited about what’s next.” Well, one seemingly quiet year has passed, and today, Calico announces that it is partnering with UT Southwestern and 2M Companies to tackle neurodegenerative disorders caused by the aging and death of nerve cells, such as ALS and Parkinson’s. This was followed shortly after the announcement of their first partnership with drug company AbbVie just last week to build a research and development facility in San Francisco, as well as an earlier launch of Baseline Study, which will collect anonymous health data to define what a healthy human should look like.

Read more: Do corporate wellness programs really boost productivity? and Quantified Self: 10 Ways Lifelogging Improves Your Quality Of Life

Image credited to Time

Sony EyeGlass Prototype

And while Google tries to be at the forefront of everything including its attempt to conquer the smart eyeglasses market, Sony is also seen stepping up in this same sector. This Sony EyeGlass acts like a secondary screen for Android smart phone users and displays information for wearers, overlaid on top of the real world. Currently, several apps have been developed for this EyeGlass, including Wikitude which displays information of landmarks as the wearer looked around, Cookpad which displays recipes while your hands are covered in flour and oil, as well as a camera which has facial recognition built into it. Although looking much bulkier and more like goggles than classy eyewear, the Sony EyeGlass is, according to CNET, still in its prototype phase and will eventually scan your eye movements to scroll through information on the screen. What do you think? Has Sony taken a little too long to arrive at its current EyeGlass?

Read more: Sony’s prototype EyeGlass smart specs eye up Google Glass

Image credited to The Guardian

Fashion, style and wellness

Even though Sony seems to be neglecting a little on style and design, several other wearable tech makers have plunged into making their products fashionable and chic right from the start. One example is designer Rebecca Minkoff, who dreams of her fashion to be ultra functional, and has since designed a notification bracelet and another one that charges and syncs your mobile devices. Others like FitBit, which started out focusing on basic designs coupled with accurate technology, are also partnering high-fashion masters like Tory Burch to target the female consumer. In addition, tech giant Intel has also partnered with fashion brand Opening Ceremony to create a sleek wearable bracelet known as MICA (picture above), which boasts of a 1.6-inch curved sapphire glass touchscreen display. Don’t you want one already?

Read more: 9 Fashionable Wearables for the Sartorially Savvy and The Stellé Audio Clutch: Wearable Tech Innovation Meets Audio Couture

Image credited to Opening Ceremony

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This week in lifelogging: the next megatrend (featuring Apple and astronauts)

Lifelogging on the rise

Lifelogging is on a roll. And so is its counterpart, wearable technology. According to an analysis of over 8 million online conversations about wearable tech between 2013 to 2014, there has been a 190% increase in mentions of wearable tech compared to the year before. When users of wearable tech were asked how useful these gadgets have been, 82% of them believe that wearable tech has enhanced their lives. That’s a good number for a category of products that has only recently taken off, if you’d ask me. Do you use any of the wearable tech devices mentioned below? Share your thoughts with us and comment below!

Infographic credited to the team at ShotTracker

The collective Internet of Things

The map you see above belongs to a form known as Internet Cartography, which simply means that this is a map showing everyone using the Internet right now. Since its illegal beginnings, Internet Cartography has now legally evolved into something anyone could do. To attain this map, John Matherly, founder of Shodan and creator of the map you see above, used his server to ping everyone he could on the Internet. This means that approximately 1.4million packets of data are sent around per second. Subsequently, each city and country is identified through a database of IP addresses and then plotted on a world map like this. According to Matherly, mapping these data has still been met with difficulties as organisations and whole countries (China, for instance) put up firewalls to block ping requests. This though might alter with the increasing awareness and usage of lifelogging devices while we welcome in the era of the Internet of Things, wherein this map could become a lot more accurate in future as we carry these devices around with us and are, in a sense, perpetually connected. It’ll be interesting to see how this map varies according to different events that happen around the world.

Read more: How to Make a Map of Everyone Using the Internet Right Now and Survey: IoT, Wearables Market Set for Explosive Growth

Image credited to Shodan

Thinking twice about Apple

Now even though the Internet of Things and the lifelogging trend are taking off well, some people have still expressed their doubts if technology leader Apple can bring something worthwhile to this table. With the whole world keeping their eyes on Apple this 9 September to see what’s in store for them with the official launch of the iPhone 6, many have also speculated that the Apple “iWatch” would be launched concurrently as well. Out of this latter group, some have made known their concerns of whether Apple can indeed gain a footing in this crowded smart watch scene. Still others have said that pricing and design could be a determining factor as to whether this will be a hit. Our guess though, is that Apple would use its long running strategy of building an entire ecosystem to appeal to its fans. This means that the key to winning the hearts of die-hard Apple fans already wearing a Pebble smart watch or the likes of it, will lie in how the Apple “iWatch” could run holistically in the upcoming iOS8 to create even more value for its users.

Read more: Winning In Wearable Tech: Why Investors Might Think Twice Before Betting On Apple

Image credited to Forbes

Lifelogging in style

And it certainly isn’t difficult to see why critics have listed design as one of the determining factors as to whether the Apple “iWatch” will be a make or break. With Ralph Lauren bringing together the two spheres of fashion and wearable tech quite successfully, consumers are now sure to demand even more after being exposed to the possibilities of high-fashion high-tech products that can add value to their wardrobes. Google has likewise partnered with Luxottica, which makes Oakley and Ray-Bans, while fitness tracker FitBit has also collaborated with luxury brand Tory Burch to launch a range of stylish fitness wristbands to accessorise your everyday dressing – both for work and play. What do you look for in your wearables?

Read more: Can fashion designers make tech wearables truly wearable?

Image credited to Ralph Lauren

Lifelogging in space

And when style meets space, the whole universe conspires to blow our minds away. The video above is giving us a glimpse of what lifelogging in space would look like. Not only will we see zero gravity in action, natural forces literally collide to present the most amazing views to us. While most of us have this thing on our bucket list to see the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights, this astronaut is taking this bucket list item to a whole new level. He saw the Aurora display from where he lives – the International Space Station. Literally an everyday view for him as he awakes. Well, with the Virgin group offering flights to space, perhaps we will be able to see more lifelogging greatness from that place most of us dreamt as little kids to live in. Let’s stay tuned!

Read more: Astronaut Captures Aurora in Stunning Time-Lapse and Airglow ‘Ripples’ Over Tibet Give Aurora Photography a Run for Its Money and Travelling Russian Photographer Captures Breathtaking Morning Views From His Tent

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This week in lifelogging: connect to disconnect (a glimpse into the future)

Lifelogging and the future it brings

definition of lifelogging

Lifelogging is defined to be the record of the everyday life produced by a portable device regularly carried around. The practice of lifelogging existed long before things like fitness trackers, mobile phones or smart apparel existed. Like the lady above, who was featured in our Lifeloggers documentary film, countless enthusiasts began lifelogging way before wearable devices were invented. They made use of what they had – notebooks, photographs and a conscious effort – to note down everything that happened every day so they could search out patterns or gaps in the way they were living and somehow make tiny improvements to their way of life. Progressively, the lifelogging bug has caught on, with many tech giants riding this wave too. This wave would eventually crash onto the shores of the future, bringing technology to the next new level, and along with it a paradoxical truth of connecting to disconnect that we might see most devices move towards in the near future.

Read more: The Most Connected Man Is You, Just a Few Years From Now and Dear digital diary – lifelogging in the internet age

From disruptive devices to the quiet worker

hands-free photography

As much as technology today has evolved tremendously and improved our lives a great deal, one of its major flaws lie in its inability to be fully integrated with our human-human lives. Today’s devices are somewhat attention seekers, craving our sole attention when we use them. In other words, they require us to break from human-human interactions, and focus instead on the human-computer interactions. Lifelogging tools such as the Moves app, on the other hand, provide a glimpse of how technology will look like in future – hands-free devices that work with you, for you. They show us how technology can be seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives, without the need to break away from the people around us. They show us a paradoxical truth of being connected in order to disconnect from the burdens that technology today brings to us – that familiar scene where every one is buried deep into their smart phones, tablets or laptops. They show us a future where devices are working in the background for the betterment of our lives, while we go ahead and enjoy our human-human interactions.

Read more: How 30 Days Without Social Media Changed My Life and Consumer Reports: Wearable Tech Gains Popularity

From things unknown to pleasant surprises

With lifelogging tools working hard in the background to provide you with information about yourself or the things around you, one potential result is that you can begin to disconnect from the lack of knowledge. Individually, they could serve to prompt you that you are spending too much time on the computer or that you haven’t been drinking enough water. Collectively, these information could also provide fresh insights such as new ways to see earthquakes through people’s fitness trackers. This of course, has been a giant leap from the humble beginnings of lifelogging where people needed to jot down every single thing in their paper journals by hand. Today, digital lifelogging has not only been less disruptive than they were before, but they might also start to unwind into beautiful art projects before you know it (like this one which allows others to visit most of Albania in 1.5 hours or this Burning Man time-lapse to end all Burning Man time-lapses)!

Read more: Now There’s a Fitness Tracker for Your Car and The city that goes to bed early: Study finds New York is first to turn in at 11pm – but Moscow doesn’t get out of bed until after 8am

Image credited to Jawbone

From overcapacity to optimised beings

With the lifelogging devices quietly working in the background to collect useful information, we the connected beings can then begin to disconnect from our over-busy and complicated lives. Lumo Lift, for instance, aims to be your personal posture coach and activity tracker so we wouldn’t have to take out that extra time to visit the chiropractor for back problems. Although lifelogging devices today still have room for improvement in terms of its ability to analyse the data and provide targeted and useful feedback, these, I believe, would improve as more people jump onto the bandwagon of lifelogging. As this feedback begins to take shape, not only will it result in better health and concentration to complete the tasks we have to do, it will also free up time for you to do the things you love.

Read more: Lumo Lift Vibrates You Into Better Posture

Image credited to Pundit Press

From boring to mind-blowing

Or even prompt you to do things out of your comfort zone. With so many lifelogging tools out there and a dedicated platform called Matchup that feeds on our innate competitive selves, it is tough to lead a boring life. Whether it is beating your friends with that extra mile you’ve run or just taking a bicycle ride round your neighbourhood, chances are you will begin to notice things you have never seen before or catch rare sights like rainbows, butterflies, or real-life Spiderman. Yes, this week, we found Spidey – a Russian photographer who climbs to unimaginable places for a good picture. Ivan Kuznetsoy is based in Moscow and is famous by the name of ‘rooftopper’ which means he scales tall buildings and structures (often illegally) to take dizzying aerial photos of the world underneath him. Whether this was backed by a desire to be an extreme visual lifelogger or not, we do have one thing to say: well kids, do not try this at home (or out of home for that matter).

Read more: Amazing Photos Of A Daredevil Photographer. Warning: Don’t Look If You Have Batophobia and 20 Creative Hyperlapses From Instagram’s New App

Image credited to Ivan Kuznetsoy

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This week in lifelogging: moving beyond 24 hours a day

Time and tide wait for no man


“How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss -

Time is perhaps that one thing no one ever feels they have excess of. Truth be told, as much as one of the biggest regrets that people have on their deathbeds lies in how they wished they hadn’t worked so hard, this realisation clearly contradicts what actually happens in the now. The average American, for instance, spends more than one-third of their day working, and slightly less than one-third sleeping. This of course varies according to where you live, as revealed through a study done by fitness tracker Jawbone UP. And in between that bulk of sleeping and working, we of course fill our lives with various mini activities, including what seems to be our all time favourite activity – consuming digital media content. In fact, the numbers here seem to either prove that we are extremely well-versed at multitasking or that we’re gifted with the ability to skive at work without being caught. So yes, apparently the average American spends 11 hours per day on digital media. Done the math? 11 hours on digital media + 8.8 hours working + 7.7 hours sleeping = 27.5 hours. How does that work out? Though we haven’t figured the real reason behind the 27.5 hours a day spent on these three activities alone, we do know that lifelogging has its benefits at helping each of us move beyond 24 hours a day without compromising the amount of time spent on the people or things we love. Here’s introducing a few lifelogging tools that can help us spend our limited time more productively.

Read more: Where the Five-Day Workweek Came From and Gordon Bell Lifelogging at 80

Image credited to HQ Wide

Know it while you’re asleep

Earlier, we introduced some sleep trackers that could give you a better idea of what you need in order to feel completely rested after a whole night of rest. But what if you could have all that data and implementation in a smart bed instead? And we’re not talking about the kind of smart beds that help you make your bed in the morning (although we do think it’s pretty awesome). This smart bed we’re talking about is manufactured by Sleep Number, and is a voice-activated bed that monitors and aims to improve the quality of your sleep. Tracking your sleep includes analysing various data types like breathing and heart rate, and then scoring them on a scale of 100 to give you an idea of the quality of your sleep. Following that, with the touch of a few buttons, you could adjust the firmness or elevation of the bed, or even get a massage. The downside? This X12 bed comes with a hefty price tag that we wouldn’t even want to reveal here. Find out more here if you can’t wait to get your hands on this. A good night’s rest could just be the answer you need for killing that Z monster that steals some time off the things you need to complete during the day!

Read more: Smart Bed Watches While You Sleep, But It’s Not Creepy

Image credited to Mashable

Work out while you’re at work


With the best sleep that you can get, you’re probably skipping your way to work already. Besides all the fitness trackers that we’ve been introducing to you, here’s one that we think could very well be the exterminator of that pesky excuse, “I just don’t have time to get in shape!”. Here’s introducing to you the Stir Kinetic desk, a smart desk designed to track how much time you spend sitting down versus standing up and will remind you to switch positions from time to time to keep you active and make you more productive. According to Stir’s founder, four hours of standing per day instead of sitting burns as many extra calories as a two mile run. The Stir Kinetic smart desk is essentially driven by software that you access through a touchscreen (centre of picture above). It learns your patterns, remembers your preferences, and lets you know if you’re not moving enough. It could also be integrated with the FitBIt that you own so that all the calories burnt throughout your day at work are tallied up with the gym session you have at the end of the day. Health is wealth so how about earning that extra wealth at the activity you spend the most time at?

Read more: A ‘Smart Desk’ That Helps Keep You Active and Michael J Fox charity turns to tech

Image credited to Stir

Track it while you’re feeling it

So apart from your physical well-being, one way to help you use your time more productively could be to improve your emotional well-being. After all, happier people are about 12% more productive. My Momentum for Chrome plugin, for instance, always tells me, “Do more of what makes you happy”. But how do I really know what makes me happy? The wristband that you see in the picture above, designed by Studio XO’s XOX platform, is here to help you out a little! The XOX wristband measures biometric data and then gives a visual signal on how the wearer is feeling. Besides being used for the quantified self purpose, XOX could also be used to bridge the gap between artistes and brands towards their audience. A case in point was how the XOX wristband was worn during Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors Showcase 2014. Happier audiences and happier people could be the key to reducing the time wasted doing things that we don’t actually enjoy.

Read more: The Newest Wearable Tech Keeps Track Of How Happy You Are and Philip Thomas on Building a Personal Dashboard and Alert Shirt: Wearable Tech That You Can Feel

Image credited to Studio XO

Quantify it while you’re speaking

This last suggestion for you to live a more productive and happier life could seem a little extreme, but here’s how one man by the name of Nicholas Felton did it. Always curious about data, charts and daily routines, Nicholas quantified every conversation he had in 2013. According to his website, this project aspires to uncover patterns and insights within the data and metadata of a large and personal data set and its sources include conversations, SMS, telephone calls, email, Facebook messages and physical mail. So yes, all conversations. And since there isn’t an app for it yet, Nicholas took notes manually. And until someone can design a device or app that accurately quantifies all conversations, I’m doubting the fact that many, if any, would be disciplined enough to do what Nicholas Felton did. Still, we wanted to add that in this week’s productive living post because conversations can probably tell a lot about how one is living his/her life and can seek to work around it, if ever, the data becomes available. Until then, have a happy weekend with many meaningful conversations with your loved ones!

Read more: The Beginner’s Guide to Quantified Self (Plus, a List of the Best Personal Data Tools Out There) and What will the Internet look like in 100 years? This infographic takes a guess

Image credited to Nicholas Felton

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This week in lifelogging: life in fast forward

Lifelogging movie mania!


“I’ve never seen time flow in this way before.” -Hunter Bliss (Narrative Clip user)

When you start engaging in some form of lifelogging, you would probably feel the same way as Hunter Bliss does. And if you haven’t, here’s one film recommendation for you to look at time the way Hunter sees it. Here’s introducing Boyhood, a 2014 American drama film written, co-produced and directed by Richard Linklater, who also directed other well-loved films like School of Rock, Before Sunrise (and its two other sequels Before Sunset and Before Midnight), as well as Slacker. Boyhood allows its audience to see time flowing in a different way because it was filmed over 12 years using the exact same cast, where it explores the life of a young boy named Mason as he transits from a young boy to a full-grown teenager amidst various familial issues. The narrative of these 12 years were strung together so beautifully and smoothly that you might not even realise that a year had gone by. Like this blogger says, “Linklater strings these ordinary moments together like Christmas lights to make an entrancing portrait of life.” And don’t worry, for the sake of our limited time on Earth, Linklater has kindly fast forwarded these 12 years into an absolutely brilliant 165-minute film to watch lead actor Ellar Coltrane grow up. Did we also mention that they attained a rating of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.9 on IMDb?

Image credited to Boyhood

Read more: Boyhood review – one of the great films of the decade and Great Ocean Road Timelapse with the Narrative Clip

7 years a selfie

Think 12 years squeezed into 165 minutes is just too much to handle? One young man certainly wanted to challenge that, and is showing us how he has redefined perseverance and discipline in his own visual lifelogs. Taking a selfie every day even well before selfies had their own hashtag, Hugo Cornellier decides that he will take a selfie every day to document his boyhood from 12 to 19 years old. Yes, that’s 7 years, or 2555 selfies. As it seems, Hugo has successfully documented the many changes in his life through this project – from gaining his chiseled jaw and moving house to making new friends and girlfriends. While he might have thought that he had chosen the best age range for this project to showcase how changes were most prominent and rapid then, others playfully commented that they noticed this one constant – he never smiled during these 7 years, growing up. Whether he smiled or not in those 7 years, our guess is that he’s now pretty stoked with the 3.7 million Youtube views that he’s gotten. Perhaps he’s still collecting his stash of selfies to show the world one day. Stay tuned!

Read more: Time-Lapse: Incredibly Dedicated Teen Takes One Selfie Per Day for 7 Years

Video credited to Hugo Cornellier

Enter into North Korea

Undoubtedly, technology has fast-forwarded our lives in so many ways. Things that we used to take hours to complete now only require 15 minutes of our time. In fact, the very reason that Boyhood or 7 years a selfie can be completed is because of the existence of so much film technology and image preservation techniques. So imagine a life without that kind of technology, which is often facilitated by the exchange of ideas across borders – a privilege that countries like North Korea might not have enjoyed since 1948. Since David Guttenfelder, one of the first foreign photographers to be granted the ability to work in North Korea and who was subsequently awarded TIME’s Instagram photographer of the year, not much were seen or heard of this land of whispers until two photographers JT Singh and Rob Whitworth debuted their “Enter Pyongyang” flow-motion hyperlapse video a week back. Through this video, Singh and Whitworth wanted to capture the essence of how North Korea was gradually opening up and its resulting dynamism and potential as they welcomed numerous special economic zones with China, Russia and South Korea. Could it be true that this hyperlapse video is giving us a glimpse of how fast-changing and forward-looking North Korea could be in the coming years?

Read more: First-person Hyperlapse Videos and Disney tech auto-edits your raw footage into watchable video

Video credited to JT Singh

One World Trade Center

And if there’s one place in this world that could encompass the true meaning of life in fast forward, many would probably agree that Manhattan takes the title home. In the video above, photographer Benjamin Rosamond managed to get front row seats for witnessing the return of the lower Manhattan skyline, achieved by the rebuilding of 1 World Trade Center. This skyscraper boasts reaching 1776 feet and is now the tallest building in the United States. As Benjamin reveals to Popsugar about the beauty of time-lapse videos, he mentions that “It shows progress that is not visibly obvious to the naked eye… it highlights the changes that happen too slowly to notice in real time.” Have you hit the << button on your life to notice the gradual changes in your naturally occurring fast-forwarded life?

Read more: This week in lifelogging: best use of time-lapse moments

Video credited to Benjamin Rosamond Photography

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This week in lifelogging: a little crazier, a little happier

Crazy, and wildly successful

“Sane is boring.” - R.A. Salvatore

This week we discovered two things – that the idea of a true photographic memory through the Narrative Clip sounded crazy and secondly, that Facebook, Amazon and Paypal also belong to this same category. Yes, we are proud (and hysterically happy) that we have been featured in Business Insider as one of the six startup ideas that sounded crazy but ended up being wildly successful. In view of this, we have decided to feature some of the crazy and happy things that lifelogging can do for/to you.

Read more: Four wearables that will take over mobility

Freedom backpack


First up, we would like to introduce the Freedom Backpacker to you. His name is Jānis Vērzemnieks and he is a designer and entrepreneur who helps music-employed artists and entrepreneurs to be heard. Apart from having this amazing dream, here’s why we think he’s a little crazier and happier than the rest of us. His entire life is summed up in a single freedom backpack that he brings to whichever part of the world that he chooses; and nope, he’s not starring in a movie for that, as much as it sounds like a scene from Up In The Air. Jānis believes that the freedom backpack is his mantra for a happy and simple way of life and believes that this mantra could vary across different people. Along with other mini-mantras on what to bring for this journey, one thing he did decide to bring along was the Narrative Clip. According to him, “these photos tell a living and true story, because all the moments are genuinely true, unstaged and natural.” So yes, we believe his craziness in embarking on this just made Narrative a little crazier than it already is.

Read more: Freedom backpack and This week in lifelogging: travel episode 1

Wear your entire life

Now if you are actually thinking of stepping into the unknown like Jānis did, you might just be concerned with one thing – how are you going to keep up with things happening back home and update your friends and family about everything? Here’s introducing the Nex Band – the magical band that evolves with your experiences. So while most tech wristbands on the market today focus on fitness and health, the Nex Band lets you interact with all your passions, from friends to music to gaming to movies to sports – and so much more because of its modular nature. These modules are like living charms for the Nex Band, where each module has a multi-colored LED as well as a unique identifier related to you and its application. Your module knows who you are, where it’s been, who your friends are; and can be followed even if given away. Even crazier than how holistic the Nex Band seems to be, is how this company totally deviated from what they had originally set out to do when they realised through a focus group for a new children’s story that all the participants cared about were the features of that magical charm bracelet mentioned in the story. So the company listened and took an entirely different path. And they are certainly happier now with a million dollar grant from the Canadian government.

Read more: Betting On Teens In Wearable Tech and Gadget Demo: Wearables and training devices

Image credited to Huffington Post

Embrace The Hug

To some people like Sam Volkering, this new product is the craziest thing ever invented. Crazy because it does something your body already does … remind you to get a drink of water. Yet to others like Victoria Lambert who wants every single lifelogging device out there, this could be another noteworthy addition to her collection. This new product is known as The Hug, which essentially tracks your water intake so you can hydrate better. According to The Hug’s Kickstarter page, most people simply do not drink enough water and are constantly dehydrated without even realising it. As a result, this dehydration not only decreases mental and physical performance, but it also makes us more likely to get sick. With The Hug that consists of a sensor band and a companion iOS app, one simply has to slip The Hug sensor around pretty much any water bottle and connect it to an iOS device. Do you need The Hug to be healthier and happier?

Read more: Sometimes the Best Thing to do is go Low Tech and Art Students Design Wearable Technology of the Future

Facebook addictions

As one of the more prominent social lifelogging platforms, Facebook boasts of having 1,310,000,000 active Facebook users per month. This seemingly harmless platform has had huge impact on its users worldwide, evidently seen from its latest outage last week, when Los Angeles residents apparently called the police and asked when the outage will end. Is this a case for too much social lifelogging and should we delete Facebook so that we can be a little happier than now for being totally addicted to this platform?

Read more: LA residents call 911 when Facebook goes down and A High-Tech New Way for Your Boss to Follow You Everywhere

Image credited to CNN

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This week in lifelogging: best use of time-lapse moments

Make the best of your time-lapse moments

true value of a moment

Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment, until it becomes a memory. -Dr. Seuss

Here at Narrative, we fully identify with the wise words from Dr. Seuss above. We believe that sometimes the best moments in life are the simple ones. And we also believe that one of the best ways to present those simple moments for lifelogging enthusiasts is in the form of a time-lapse video. We love how time-lapse videos bring out the essence of a moment more clearly than still photos, which is already worth a thousand words. Here’s one example of how the Narrative Clip is being used in a fun new project for Farmers’ Hub, where they gave a brand new Narrative Clip camera to one of their growers to document this year’s preparation and planting for the potatoes used to create Walkers crisps. We appreciate projects like these and thus would like to introduce some of what we think are the best use of time-lapse moments and hope that they would inspire you to create your own little time-lapse project in some form.

For depicting a city’s colours from dawn to dusk

This first project that we would like to introduce to you is created by photographer Dan Marker-Moore. And even though this isn’t, in the absolute strictest sense “a time-lapse movie” in terms of the technique used and its final results, we love how Dan incorporated aspects of a time-lapse to create what he terms the “Time Slice” series, where each slice of a photo taken in a time-lapse is chronologically arranged either horizontally or diagonally. In one of his images, Dan even experimented with the use of triangles in arranging his time slices. Simply beautiful! Check out more of his amazing work here!

Read more: Stunning Images Of Skylines Captured With Time Lapse Photography and Time-Lapse: Spectacular Landscapes of the Southwest U.S.

Image credited to Dan Marker-Moore

For supporting those who are battling cancer

Art combined with supporting a cause! Why not? Here’s one created as part of the Australian campaign “Dry July” to support those battling cancer. Dry July is a fundraiser that challenges you to go booze-free for a month to support adults living with cancer. This year in particular, Dry July managed to set a few Guinness World Records while seeking to maximise the amount of funds raised by the end of the campaign. One of those Guinness World Records were set by this world’s largest Skittles art mosaic that was created out of more than 50000 Skittles over 67 man hours and its time-lapse movie certainly documented the amount of effort involved in creating the entire piece. Love Dry July and the cause it is supporting? Head over here to donate right now!

Video credited to The Globe and Mail

For bringing out the cool factor in new cars

Holden cars are probably not the first cars you think of when you talk about your dream car or the coolest cars but this time-lapse movie has definitely accentuated the cool factor of the all new Holden Cruze Z-Series. This time-lapse movie showing how a midnight drive through beautiful Tasmania landscapes in the new Holden Cruze Z-Series range looks like is about to fulfil its tagline – see Cruze in a new light. Self-fulfilling prophesy or hard work backed by awesome time-lapse movies as advertisements? You are the judge but comments below the video surely show one thing in unison – that people wouldn’t need the “skip ad” button on Youtube if they were actually good ads. Are you compelled to get the new Z-Series now?

Read more: 10 things you should not do in Time-lapse

Video credited to Holden

For comparing then and now

Well this final one isn’t really a time-lapse per se either, but we thought it was really interesting to put it in for your viewing pleasure as well. Here’s another one from Australia (this time from Sydney), and pictures like the one you see above are a part of the collection of digital photo compositions comparing the Australian society in pre-war 1914 and today. These are created by John Donegan, a photographer with 702 ABC Sydney, where he blended multiple digital colour images taken in 2014 with a single black-and-white image from a glass-plate negative taken around 1914. John observes from his project that even though a war was about to break out, people in Sydney were still chatting on the streets, oblivious to what was going to happen. This runs in parallel with how people of today scurry about their business. In his words, “Australia was about to change in unimaginable ways when these photographs were taken, but in some ways, as the montages suggest, perhaps Sydney has not changed that much.” Do you find some similarities in the photos of the past and of today in your own city too? Feel free to share them with us!

Image credited to John Donegan

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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


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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