Category Archives: This week in lifelogging

This week in lifelogging

This week in lifelogging: moving beyond 24 hours a day

Time and tide wait for no man

10629398_542663879167694_1415161915518582866_o

“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

stir_desk_interaction2

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

This week in lifelogging: life in fast forward

Lifelogging movie mania!

10506976_1496128427289434_5310237299163416530_o

“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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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

988598_379427412158009_1992980073_n

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

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

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter!