This week in lifelogging: moving beyond 24 hours a day

Time and tide wait for no man

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“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

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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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Narrative Clip used in innovative MBA program at NYU

How we learn is incredibly important. I’d say most of us remember sitting through lecture after lecture for the majority of our educational experience but there are big questions surrounding the lecture-based approach like, what alternatives are more effective? Different methods of imparting knowledge are working their way into the education system and the Narrative Clip has found its way into the field of pedagogical research. Recently, the Clip was used in a new learning experience called Langone Lab, an orientation program for new MBA students at NYU’s Stern School of Business. This new learning experience was nominated for the 10th annual Campus Technology Innovators Awards and won its category: Education Futurist.

We spoke with Maya Georgieva, the Associate Director at the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Stern, about the program, award and how the Narrative Clip has been involved.

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Maya Georgieva

Program: Langone Lab: An Innovative Orientation Program Leveraging Apps and Wearable Tech to Power New Learning Experiences

Award: Campus Technology Innovator Award – 11 honorees were selected in six categories, out of 215 nominations submitted from higher education institutions around the world.
Category: Education Futurist – visionary learning technology development; new program development; institutional reform; trend spotters: technology and society.

Tell us about the Center for Innovation in general and the program that was directly involved in this project.

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CITL) is a teaching and learning center at the NYU Stern School of Business. We work with faculty and academic groups to enrich courses and programs through the thoughtful application of progressive pedagogy and new media. We partner with faculty to design learning experiences that focus on flipping the classroom, experiential and blended learning models.

Langone Lab Orientation – a two-day program – for the new MBA Stern students was introduced in Fall 2013. The concept of a traditional orientation was flipped — students reviewed materials online and then spent a weekend in an intensive learning experience focused on innovative thinking. In Spring 2014, we introduced a bold educational design powered by cutting edge technology to foster new student learning experiences. The result was an engaging and stimulating orientation program for our new MBA students.

During Langone Lab, student teams were asked to come up with an idea for a new product or service concept. They participated in a design thinking activity. Students used iPads and the ExplainEverything App to creatively prototype their ideas. They recorded a video story of the potential user experience. The students’ experience was captured through wearable technology, including the Narrative Clip Lifelogging Clip camera and Google Glass.

Langone Lab Orientation is an intensive educational experience designed to:

  • Expose students to a process of collaborative innovation that maintains a balance between creative intuition and analytical rigor
  • Challenge students to think disruptively by expanding their perceptual, conceptual and experimental scope
  • Facilitate experiential learning using innovative digital tools
  • Capture first-person experiences through the pioneering use of wearable technology
  • Inspire students to envision future possibilities

How did you hear about Narrative?

I first saw the Narrative Clip on Kickstarter in December of 2012. I was immediately intrigued by the possibilities of using the Narrative Clip in the context of higher education learning environments, so I backed the project and followed the development of the Clip. I was determined to experiment with the Clip and design a project that would leverage its experimental nature. Last year when we started discussing the idea of a new kind of student orientation I instantly knew that there will be a place for the Narrative Clip in it. I envisioned the use of the Clip to complement the experiential nature of this new learning experience. I did not have bold objectives, as the technology is so new it was important to place in a context where users would engage with it in a natural way. I was curious to see the reaction of students and faculty, hear their questions and continue to push boundaries in terms of learning design and experiences with wearable technology. We are in such an infancy stage of the wearable tech space that it is exciting to design for it. I counted the days to its arrival shortly before the official date for Langone Lab.

What part did the Narrative Clip play in the project?

Throughout the Orientation days, different students from the 35 teams wore the Narrative Clip. We captured the stream of images, we could see the moments of insights, joy and wonder as students participated in the activities in the two days. Selected streams were shared with students. The use of the Narrative Clip complemented the innovative and experiential nature of this new learning experience. Students were excited and intrigued to see the product in use only weeks after its official release. Being in the context of a business school, students not only wore the Clip they also engaged in a number of conversations about the entrepreneurial and technological innovation involved in the making of this product and it potential business and personal use in the future.

 

Do you see other uses for the Narrative Clip at the Center for Innovation? 

We intend to use the Narrative Clip again this fall for our MBA orientation titled Launch and the latest version of Langone Lab. During Launch teams of students will wear the Narrative Clip as they perform their ethnographic research around New York attempting to tackle some of the city challenges. In the future we hope to have students wear them during field trips as they participate in internships and visit businesses in New York city and globally. I think that it would be interesting to explore the opportunity to develop analytics based on the image stream captured by Narrative. I imagine students being able to receive feedback based on the information captured by the Narrative Clip. Today, we all look for analytics coming from web services such as Twitter, Facebook, G+ and others; imagine if we can get a similar feedback from the Narrative Clip and its complementing app on daily activities. Just from scanning my own stream I can see that I prefer talking to a distinct group of people in the office and I can also observe my activities when it comes to how I spent my day and the choices I made on a daily basis. I can see who I made laugh and spot momentary interactions and objects I never had time to notice in the rush of the moment or the day. In the context of the educational experience this type of personal information can reveal a lot about students learning styles and preferences. Finally, it can provide an unbiased look into understanding ourselves or signal possible behavior and other changes. The Quantified Self, personal and learning analytics is an area that personally intrigues me and there is tremendous potential in this area with a device that is nearly transparent.

What features would you like to see added to the Narrative experience (either hardware or software based)?

In the future, the Narrative Clip app may include improved artificial intelligence to create meaningful information from the captured raw data. It would also be interesting to see if the camera can be synchronized with motion or other sensors. Looking at a daily stream may provide more than just a visual journal for our students; it may be able to capture and deliver personalized feedback based on visual data collected. When paired with software that could potentially analyze the data, it would extremely helpful for students to see information on their performance as they participate in different activities and events throughout the day. Data from the streams may prove useful for student to better understand their bio clock and learning aptitudes throughout the day as well as better understand how they relate to different people and environments. The technology for adaptive learning is improving everyday.

What are your thoughts about the Narrative Clip and the future of wearable technology in the teaching/learning process?

My background is in communication arts and global education and this has been my inspiration for understanding the impact of the digital revolution. My work studies the learning sciences and the design of new learning experiences. I have done numerous projects incorporating new media, video storytelling, mobile devices, and for me exploring new technology like the Narrative Clip provides a lens for innovation along with understanding human experience in a digital age.

At some point in the not too distant future, we’ll look back and laugh at how we currently use our Smartphones – that we had to take them out of a pocket to take a photo or to connect with others through social media. We are continuing on a trajectory of technology becoming increasingly miniaturized, more personal and user-friendly. In the end, we are racing toward a highly social, media-rich, deeply interconnected world, where technology will be embedded in or on our bodies. We will be immersed in visual streams of information (both video and images), bio and environmental data, that will transform not only our daily lives, but our understandings of physical and personal space, social interactions and our relationship with time (the way we anticipate the future and retain the past – our personal histories). Everything from the corporate to the retail world – and I might add – education will be transformed.

For this to work both data and storage need to become intelligent and be able to work together, meaning I want the data to be stored but mostly I want my wearable tech to be able to organize, filter and work with my personal preferences and display it to me in a way that I as a human individual can make sense of it. I am not just interested in looking at numbers or even visualizations of numbers; it needs to work contextually, as personalized advice to me.

Wearable Tech is in an intensely innovative period right now. In effect, you could say it’s ahead of where consumers are in terms of the market. Yes, there’s interest – some of it real desire by people to use these devices, but for others just simple curiosity. And of course, there’s a degree of skepticism and resistance.

I have been working on these topics for the last ten years. The future of education is something I think about every single day. The Narrative Clip and wearable tech has the potential to free us from clumsy and bulky interfaces of the past (and the present!) and present us with an opportunity to leverage technology in an incredibly intimate way. Wearables will become part of our daily experience; we will learn, love and express ourselves with them in new and imaginative ways. I am fascinated by these developments and I’m looking forward to the future. I see the Narrative Clip as a significant development in this direction.

Life with the Narrative Clip: An Interview with Mark Hershberger

How long have you been using the Narrative Clip?
I would say that I have been using it consistently for about 8 months.

How often do you use the clip and in what settings?
I use my Clip about 3 to 5 times a week. Sometimes it depends on the weather. The Clip works best in bright daylight, so that is really the best time to use it. It has its limits when it comes to the light required for good pictures. I wear it when I walk around Philadelphia at lunchtime. Also, when I am out and about on weekends in South Jersey, be it at the shore, or doing some fun things with my daughters.

Please explain your decision behind getting a Narrative Clip.
I am an avid amateur photographer. I always have a camera with me. Love taking photos. But, as with many photos that I take of friends or family, they are generally “posed” or “composed.” It is hard to capture those random, unplanned moments if your DSLR is not ready to fire. I figured the clip might pick up random, interesting shots I might not otherwise have captured. And, it has.

Describe what it is about the Clip that you like best.
I think I enjoy the fact that I forget it is there. And then, after a day of wearing it around, the surprise factor of seeing what was captured all day is a lot of fun. Sure, there are many photos of the sky or the floor or nothing in particular, like 30 straight shots of my car steering wheel when I am driving somewhere, but then that great photo of something pops up, and it just makes you smile. The nature of capturing a photo every 30 seconds lends itself to a lot of photos of nothing interesting, but then, there it is, a photo that is perfectly candid, and makes you smile.

How do you wear the Clip?
Most times, I will clip it to my shirt. I find that wearing it about 2 buttons down from the top is about the perfect area. However, I also started clipping it to the back of a baseball cap, right on the adjustable Velcro strap area, which means it is facing backwards and capturing things that I am not looking at.unnamed-10

What is the most surprising and / or interesting photo you’ve gotten so far?
Well, it is not the best photo or, even really that interesting, but the story behind it is rather funny. I wore the clip to a concert in Philadelphia where some of my friends were playing. I hadn’t seen a few of them in a long while since they are from California. After the show, a few hugs went around, and, evidently, one of the hugs caused the clip to fall off of my shirt. I did not realize it until I was home and found it was no longer clipped onto my shirt. I searched the car, but nothing. I then realized that it must have dropped off during the post concert greetings. I called the venue the next day and inquired if anyone had turned in a small, square plastic clip item (thinking they might not know what a Narrative clip was). The girl says to me, “Oh, was it a Narrative Clip?” I said YES! Someone did indeed turn it in. When I picked it up and viewed the photos of the previous night, sure enough, there were a number of photos of the venue staff staring directly at the clip as if to say “What the heck is this thing??” Those…..were funny photos.

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Do you have any stories as to how people react to the Clip?
Most people look at it and ask, “What is that?” When I tell them it is a camera that snaps a photo every 30 seconds on it’s own, they think it is very cool but, they also get a little spooked knowing that they are being photographed without their knowledge. That is why I think a line of Narrative “skins” that make it look more like a decoration or a pin or something would make it much less conspicuous. If I was wearing a Narrative with a yellow smiley face skin, people would think it was simply a pin.

What is the best moment you have captured with the Clip.
There have been many interesting random moments but one of my favorite shots was actually taken indoors at the afore mentioned concert. Most of the shots were simply too dark, but it did capture one great shot that everyone on my social media sites just loved.unnamed-12

What is a specific use case for the Clip that you looking forward to in the future?
I’d like to clip it to my daughters when they graduate from high school and college. It would make for some interesting memories for them.

What features would you like to see added to the Clip in the future?
I would like an on / off switch. Much more convenient than having to put it into a pocket. I would also like to see much better performance in lower light situations. Right now, it really takes nice photos in bright daylight, but indoor lighting can be a be dark, and nighttime outdoors is very dark. Lastly, as I said before, a line of “skins” or snap on coverings that make it look more like a pin or a jewelry accessory would be great!

Anything else to add?
Overall, for a first generation idea and product, the clip works really well in many situations. I think that, with some thought and effort, you could make succeeding generations even better in many ways.

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This week in lifelogging: life in fast forward

Lifelogging movie mania!

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“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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Life with the Narrative Clip. An interview with Miri Rossitto

Location
Los Angeles, CA

How long have you been using your Narrative Clip?
We have been using our Narrative for a few weeks now.

How often do you use your Clip and in what settings?
Our whole family has been trying to use the narrative as much as possible every day. We take turns wearing the Clip throughout the day.

Please explain your decision behind getting a Narrative Clip?
I loved the thought of capturing moments that I never would have even thought of preserving with a photo.

Describe what is it about the Narrative Clip that you like best?
At the end of the day our whole family gathers around the computer to see what we captured. Our trip to Disneyland last week was absolutely hysterical. Between the pictures and the rides we had as much fun looking that the pics as we did at the park!

How do you wear/use the camera?
In that photo my daughter is helping my husband build her new desk for school.

What’s the most surprising and/or interesting photo you’ve gotten so far?
I have tweeted my favorites on Twitter @Roadzies.

Do you have any stories around how people react to the Clip?
Whenever I have explained the Clip to people that have asked they have all been super supportive and excited to get one themselves.

What is best moment you’ve captured with the Narrative Clip and why?
The best moment we captured was at Disneyland! We were on Star Tours and my oldest daughter was chosen as the Rebel Spy by Darth Vader. This was the ULTIMATE moment for her and I, of course, didn’t have a camera to capture it. When we got home THE NARRATIVE CAUGHT THE MOMENT!! It was blurry but it was there and my daughter was thrilled beyond belief.

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What’s a specific use case for your Narrative Clip that you’re looking forward to trying out?
I am an aspiring family travel writer. We are driving to the Grand Canyon in a few weeks and we can’t wait to take our Narrative. In fact, I am tempted to get a few more for us to wear on the trip!

What’s a feature(s) you’d really like to see added to the Narrative service in the future?
That’s a great question. We wished that it handled pics better while moving and in lower lit areas. Maybe video clips some day? Wider, brighter and better in movement.

Anything else you’d like to add or other Clip photos you’d like to share?
WE LOVE OUR NARRATIVE CLIP!!

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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

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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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Life with the Narrative Clip. An interview with Hunter Bliss

Location:
Mannheim, Germany

How long have you been using your Narrative Clip?

20 days ago I received my clip in the mail and haven’t stopped recording since.

How often do you use your Clip and in what settings?

I use my camera to record myself and my surroundings at every moment of every day. From waking up to getting in bed, my camera makes sure that my life is never forgotten.

Please explain your decision behind getting a Narrative Clip.
After I left home (United States) and moved to Germany to begin studying, I ended up in a totally new mind-space that made me realize that I should cherish every second of my life before it’s gone. Unfortunately the human memory isn’t up to the task, so I got a camera that could help me remember everything. Now there will always be a tangible piece of my life in this reality even after I might not be there to see it.

Describe what it is about the Narrative Clip that you like best:
The look of the Narrative is very friendly and people become comfortable with it after only a few seconds of being around it. It also is the first camera I’ve heard of that isn’t immediately noticed due to size or design.

How do you wear/use the camera?

Recording every day of my life has actually posed somewhat of a challenge when it comes to wearing and mounting the camera. I’ve actually bought a few more button down shirts that allow me to mount it sideways. And if I’m not wearing it on my shirt, it’s either attached to the strap of my back pack or sitting on a surface close by. (I prefer to keep it on a still surface so the pictures are stable.)

What’s the most surprising and/or interesting photo you’ve gotten so far?

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​This was me in the anechoic chamber at our university.

Do you have any stories around how people react to the Clip?

At first I thought privacy would be a major issue with the people I know, but actually I’ve only received a few comments about it. Two of my three apartment mates think it’s a neat idea, and the other thinks it’s insane. I’ve also noticed that some people recognize the lens as a camera lens and stare at my chest while I talk to them.

What is the best moment you’ve captured with the Narrative Clip and why?
I don’t think I could single out a certain moment as my favorite. My intention for the camera is to record my whole life, so I would say I most appreciate the new perspective the Narrative gives me at all times. I’ve never seen time flow in this way before.

What’s a specific use case for your Narrative Clip that you’re looking forward to trying out?

I started with using sticky notes as portable mounts for the Narrative, but I’ve recently discovered that clocks are much more dynamic in-film. I’m going to experiment more with that effect.

What’s a feature(s) you’d really like to see added to the Narrative service in the future?

For my purposes, uploading all of my pictures to the cloud is nearly impossible. I would like to see better support for offline file management. I also wish the camera could take pictures in landscape orientation when I have the camera clipped vertically to the collars of my t-shirts.

Anything else you’d like to add or other Clip photos you’d like to share?

I would just like to tell people how unique this opportunity is, finally in the year 2014, we humans have the technological capability to record – in high definition – nearly every conscious moment of our lives. But this isn’t just digital immortality. Watching the time-lapses I’ve made is like looking into God’s eyes and witnessing what he sees even when I wasn’t focused on the moment. You can literally watch your own life fly by in the form of the most epic time-lapse ever made, the time-lapse of your own existence.

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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Getting Started with your Narrative Clip – Thoughts

Possibly the best perk of working in the Narrative Support and Community Team are the stories that we hear daily from our customers – how the Narrative Clip has changed the way they capture their lives and how they use the Clip…

“Some of them are funny, some of them are heartbreaking, but a recurring theme we hear throughout all the stories is that, we often do not appreciate the true value of the moment, until it has become a memory…”

Being one of the earliest users of the Narrative Clip, I can definitely identify with that sentiment. Unlike other tech gadgets that I can see the value of straightaway, the Narrative Clip is different…Why is this so?

Managing our Expectations

The idea of lifelogging is a relatively new concept to most (or me at least), and with the majority of us having our photographic skills limited to just point and shoot, it is inevitable that we are still slightly lost on how to deal with a lifelogging product – Do we and should we set the same expectations for the Clip as we do for any point and shoot camera? After using the Clip for nearly 9 months now, I think the answer is no. We should not set the same expectations. It can be easy to be put off when you first start using the Clip by seeing hundreds of mundane pictures (and perhaps realizing that your life is not the most exciting), but isn’t that truly reflective of what life is about?

“Our life is not always exciting, but every once in a while, something comes along and blows us away…”

Value of the Narrative Clip

If I were to compare a point and shoot camera to our lifelogging Narrative Clip, I would say the biggest difference is the intent behind the pictures. With a point and shoot camera, you pick what you want to shoot and it is a conscious decision to do so. That of course translates to 80-90% good photos. (Spending time on the composition etc. to create a perfect shot)

With the Narrative Clip, you basically relinquish control to a tiny gadget, which then captures your life as you may or may not see it. In comparison to the 80-90% good photos, the percentage of good photos from the Clip are of course significantly less. But these photos from the Clip are also the photos you would not have otherwise.

I find that with time and some experimenting, the percentage increases – Simply because I find the best positions for me to wear it and some practices to avoid. (Trying not to let my hair fall over the lens etc.)

My Stories

My Narrative Clip has captured some beautiful images – some which I could undoubtedly have taken with my iPhone, but my most treasured pictures are the candid ones. Here are some of my favorite stories…

A Day at Work

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I love this series and didn’t think I captured this encounter. The story goes like this… It was Dermot’s, one of our awesome customer service Ninjas, first day at work. I was training him on the mechanics of the Clip (Every Ninja has to go through training to be fully equipped with good knowledge to help our customers!). We were suddenly taken by surprise when we saw a head popping up in the window and asking us to open the window to the room. He then climbed in, measured something and left. What a laugh! Who says that work is always boring? Did I also mention that our office is not on the first floor?

Vacationing in Norway 

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This series was taken on my first Norway trip in the Spring. I remember being in such a cheery mood despite not having slept for more than 20 hours. This was one of the first sunny days I felt in Spring and I was out with my friends in Bergen, a small town in Norway. We decided to buy a kite on a whim and fly it. The last picture shows the amazing sunset from our hostel. Looking at these pictures, I obviously have to learn to keep my hair away from the lens too. Funny how this happened months ago, but the memory feels so fresh in my mind after looking at all these pictures!

Out at sea – Kayaking on a lazy Sunday afternoon

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This is possibly one of my favorite sets of photos - a set that would not have happened if not for my Narrative Clip. With my hands full of kayaks and my snack, it is pretty impossible to take out my camera. (Not to mention dangerous too, since I might drop my camera into the sea). I got these pictures by clipping my Clip onto my life vest. The Clip is weather-proof and is pretty resistant to water splashes. It seems to withstand all the splashes I got from my friends! I find that the Clip works really well for sports where the upper body tend to be more stationary. (less blurry pictures) Some sports that I think the Clip may be good for are kayaking, skiing, cycling, hiking, yoga etc.

Lunch Date

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I left the best picture for last. This is taken during a friend’s summer trip to find me in Sweden. We had met in London prior and he decided to fly over to Sweden on a whim for a weekend since he’s never been here. In this picture, we were sitting in this gorgeous restaurant just by the sea. It’s been such a wonderful weekend and I had decided to bring him out to the archipelago to show what Stockholm has to offer in the summer. We had such a good lunch and he was sharing his dream with me and how he wants to pursue it after going home. I remember being so excited that he is going to pursue his passion. There’s so much to this picture, and is my favorite picture of all. I am so glad my Narrative Clip caught it.

What’s your story?

P.S. Do you know the way you wear your Clip determines the orientation of your picture? Learn more here!

A day in the life of a farmer – as seen by the Narrative Clip

“A Day in the Life”

The Narrative Clip is being used in a fun new project for Farmers’ Hub. Check out part 1 below and check back for parts 2 – 4.

Who’s “A day in the life” story would you like to see? Let us know on Twitter.

Find out more about their project here.