What a busy period for us this month, with the Tokyo and Dublin conferences that just passed, and now the Gadget Show in London for the next three days! We are seriously racking up some serious air mileage this holiday season! We are really excited to meet up with all of you to discuss everything from what you like about the Narrative Clip to how you feel we can improve. The sky’s the limit and we can’t wait to get inspired by all of you.
Two members of the Narrative team, Niclas and Erik , will be representing us at the Gadget Show from November 1st-3rd, which will take place at Earls Court.
The Gadget Show Live @ Christmas is the Number 1 technology event this holiday season and it will be packed with the the best gadgets available from around the world, including Capcom, GAME, Nintendo, o2, Xbox, PlayStation, Lego ® Technic and GoPro among many others.
So, say hi to us if you are here! We will be exhibiting our Narrative Clips and we would love to show you how it works personally. If you are interested to have a chat, you can also ping Niclas at @niclasj . Looking forward to meeting all of you!
This Web Summit is one of the largest gathering of the world’s leading thinkers and doers in technology. It is for all businesses, whether large and small, who are being impacted by new technologies. Over 10,000 attendees from all over the world will be attending this event this year and we are excited to be part of this event, once again for the second consecutive year. This will be such an enriching experience for us, as we draw ideas and inspirations from everyone. So, feel free to hit us with any ideas you have for the Narrative Clip! Or simply to clarify any questions you have.
This event will take place from 30th-31st October ( Today and tomorrow) at RDS Main Hall, Ballsbridge in Dublin so say hi to us if you are here! (Side benefit: You will get to see a preview of our Narrative Clip! ) If you are interested to have a chat, you can also ping Sarah at @uSweSarah . Looking forward to meeting all of you!
One of the main reason why we started up Narrative and designed the Narrative Clip Camera was to help people remember every moment – even the normal daily ones. However, sometimes, some memories may be best left forgotten- because they have a sneaky way of sneaking into the present and ruining our future. A few weeks back, we spoke about using a forgetting pill that will help us to erase painful memories forever. This week, we found out about this new scientific discovery. A new study from MIT reveals a gene that is critical to the process of memory extinction. Enhancing the activity of this gene, known as Tet1, might benefit people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by making it easier to replace fearful memories with more positive associations. What are your thoughts on memory extinction? Will you do it?
Share your baby’s heartbeat with family and friends with this ultraportable baby heartbeat monitor
On a much lighter note, we are really excited to share this new mobile app / wearable gadget with you called BabyWatch. Comprising of a ultraportable ultrasound generator, dedicated smartphone app, and a social platform, the mission of BabyWatch is really simple – To create an easy and blissful experience for pregnant women worldwide. Mothers-to-be can use the ultrasound generator from the comfort of their own home to measure their babies’ heartbeats, and easily sync this data to the mobile app, which they then have the choice to share with the online mobile community and their love ones. The benefits of sharing their baby’s heartbeats is two-pronged. Firstly, it enables the family members who can’t be physically involved in those first moments of its life to be a part of pre-birth bonding, and connect with the baby right from the beginning of its life. The second benefit (which would appeal most to first-time moms) is the ability to gain insight into the baby’s health and receive prenatal tips from other pregnant women in the same community. We think this is a great tool to have and we are really excited to see this project come to fruition.
In the world of wearable technology and ”connected self” activity tracker market, Fitbit has been around for what seems to be an eternity ( 2 years) and in 2011, the company unveiled its first tracker, the Fitbit Ultra. Since then, the wearable technology industry has exploded with a whole lot more other tracking gadgets and it seemed like we have seen enough of these gadgets for a while. However, we were intrigued when we saw the new Fitbit Model – The Fitbit Force. Described as the best all-around fitness tracker by CNET and the Smartest Fitness Tracker by Mashable, this new Fitbit Force is the first-ever wristband fitness tracker to feature an OLED display. And with the display, users no longer have to refer to an app to check their stats since most of what they want to know can be found right on the tracker. However, there’s still an app that provides a deeper look at how you’re doing. We like how intuitive this new Fitbit Force is, and can’t wait to try it out soon.
Time is so variable that the absolute measure of time is almost meaningless.
On a more reflective note, we saw this article written by Seth Godin ( founder of Squidoo) this week and it brought us a new perspective on time. We often think of time as static and constant, measured in seconds and hours. However, in this article, he argues that time doesn’t exist until we invent it. Time is so variable, so based on our experience, that the absolute measure of time is almost meaningless. Just try to remember how time flies by when you are doing things you love with people you care about, versus spending the same amount of time on something you really dislike doing. We’d gladly pay extra to buy an hour in some circumstances, but refuse to pay even a little more to save an hour in others. Time doesn’t exist, not in a way that matters to most people. The story we tell ourselves about time, though, is the overriding narrative of our day to day lives. What’s the moment you would like to turn back most?
We will be shipping the Narrative Clip camera to thousands of fantastic people in 53 countries!
The factory is in full mass production of all parts and some Narrative team members are there to oversee this first production! Those of us in Sweden are working hard to make sure the shipping goes off without a hitch and you have the support you need at your fingertips. We’ve revamped our support page where you can easily get in touch with the Narrative support team and check out the Narrative Knowledge Base.
We’ve learned a lot through the beta testing, one major thing is the benefit of facilitating peer-to-peer support. Please take a minute and answer this short survey about how you would prefer to interact with other Narrative users.
What do you do at Narrative?
I do image analysis and image processing.
What’s one thing we should know about you?
That my greatest interest is juggling. And within juggling, the discipline I enjoy the most is club passing. It is a nice feeling keeping 8 spinning clubs in the air together with a friend.
What book have you recently finished, or are currently reading? The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
What did you want to be as a child?
I wanted to be an inventor… oh, and yes, I almost forgot, a gardener.
Best advice you have ever received:
“If you don’t need a larger backpack than 55 litre you should not buy a larger one just in case. People tend to pack too much if there is extra space.” My back has thanked me on many travels since then.
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” – From The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Moment you would like to relive:
When I, together with 20 friends, performed in a choreographed fire show at the Medieval Week in Visby 2005. That show had everything, fire breathers, flying torches and people standing on shoulders.
There is no doubt that the quantified self market is expanding at a rapid speed, with an estimation of more than 373 million smart watches to be shipped by 2020. However, while wearable technology is increasingly gathering interest among us users, there is still much room for improvement. According to Aaron Parecki, the current way these quantified self devices are built and marketed are not optimal for users. The current model – where every device has its own app and its own social network requires users to completely buy into the whole eco-network of each company, without the ability to sync data from outside sources. While this model offers a more integrated experience for the product, it leaves users with yet another platform to manage, and the inability to fit all the data gathered from different sources together to form a complete understanding of oneself. This inability to optimize all the data that we get can be akin to pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – having lots of information but not being to able to make sense of these data and to form a complete picture – thus leading to imperfect information. As such, he came up with an ideal Quantified Self Eco-System ( refer to the above picture), wherethe device manufacturers are separated from the app builders. By doing so, it then allows us to better manage our data. It also increases the management and increases the security of our data. For more explanation of this new eco-system, hop on to this really great article.
Fitbit Force – The best all round activity tracker
This week, we were really excited to learn about the new Fitbit Force, which is ready to ship. Priced at an affordable USD$129.95, it was described by CNET as the best all-around fitness tracker, which is an honour given the number of self tracking gadgets out in the market. The common consensus among the different reviews is a seamless and great user experience of the Fitbit Force. Reviews described the Fitbit Force as being light and comfortable enough to wear over a period of time, with an impressive battery life of 7-10 days. The Force also takes advantage of Fitbit’s deep analytical tools and product ecosystem to paint a more complete picture of the user’s health and fitness lifestyle. Syncing the data has also been made easier with wireless and bluetooth sync, removing any hassle of dealing with wires. We really liked what we saw and can’t wait to try out ourselves. For more information on the benefits of the Fitbit Force, check this user review out!
Having a pot belly makes you nearly FOUR times more likely to suffer from memory loss
Many past researches have shown that smoking, lack of sleep, drinking and taking drugs can increase the risk of dementia and memory loss. This might be reassuring to some of us who do not do any of these activities. However, recent researches have shown that an unhealthy lifestyle – unhealthy eating and exercising habits can also lead to memory loss. This research revealed that people with alot of fat around their middles are three and a half times more likely to develop memory loss and dementia in old age. This is because people with a lot of abdominal fat have lower levels of the protein that also controls how the liver metabolises fat. Called PPARalpha, it controls fat metabolism in the liver, but it also resides in the brain’s memory centre – the hippocampus – and controls memory and learning.When people are overweight, they initially just have depleted PPARalpha levels in their livers but eventually in their whole bodies, including their brains.
A Father-Daughter Bond – Perspective on time lapse
On a lighter note, check out this video of a dad (Steven Addis) who visited the exact same spot in New York City every year for 15 years to take a family picture with his daughter. Considered as a time-lapse project, we like his perspective on time-lapse and capturing pictures as memories. In this video, he spoke about the how our perspectives change even while taking the same photos. And how photos allow us to freeze time and consequently reflect how we change from year to year. Check this heartwarming video out!
The Quantified Self (QS) Global Conference in San Francisco is the biggest gathering of quantified self-trackers and toolmakers from all over the world and this year will mark the fifth year of this event. This is the most ideal place to gather, inspires, collaborate on new ideas and discuss the future of the Quantified Self movement and we are really excited to be part of this huge movement and this prestigious event.
We can’t wait to meet everyone at this event and to draw inspiration from all of you, so say hi to us if you are here! (Side benefit: You will get to see a preview of our Narrative Clip! ) This event will take place on 10-11th October 2013.
Too late to purchase the tickets to this event? Niclas and Christoffer will be in San Francisco till the end of this week, so ping them at @niclasj and @Lejdborg and you might get to catch them before they come back to Sweden. Also, look out for our Narrative Clip Cameras out in the wild in San Francisco!
So, last week was a hectic week for us at the Narrative Office (In case you missed the news, we’ve changed name! Read more about it here http://letter.getnarrative.com ) Amid all the crazy news, you might have missed out on some of the articles we usually post. So, here are some of the good stuff we found!
New iOS App Memoir Jogs Your Memory With Old Photos
Have you ever reminisced about a special event and thought to yourself “ The same time last year, I was….”? Here at Narrative, our vision is to help people remember every moment of their lives and to relieve those special ones. So, when we saw this app, we thought it was pretty fitting with our concept. Basically, Memoir is a photo-storage app that helps you jog your memory by showing you the most recent photos as well as photos and social network check-ins from that same day — two, three, or five years ago. We think this is a pretty fun app to use, and will be great in inducing some laughter (and tears). Memoir will make such a great fit with Narrative, don’t you think? Relieving special moments will never be easier…
The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever
On a completely different note, we also found this forgetting pill that is able to help erase painful memories forever. Sounds crazy? Apparently not. We often like to think that experiences, no matter how good or bad will help to mold us as a person and develop us to be stronger. However, this article argues that some memories (especially post trauma stress disorder) are sometimes best forgotten as it has the tendency to bleed into the present and ruin the future. What do you think?
This sleep-sensing device wants to get in bed with you, but it won’t cuddle
Wearable technology and the concept of quantified self has taken over by storm and is estimated to be worth $30 billion by 2018. However, the main problem with wearable technology is that we often have to pay the price of discomfort just to know more about ourselves. This dilemma is something that has been raised by users time and again, which was why we were excited to learn about Beddit, a sleep tracking gadget that “ wants to get into bed with you, but will not cuddle”. Rather than your body, Beddit attaches to the bed like a sticker. The sensors then measure the mechanical force caused by heartbeat, respiration, and movements. These signals are used to analyze sleep stage and stress levels, which information is transmitted via Bluetooth to your phone. This is a pretty cool gadget, and we can’t wait to finally achieve a better sleep routine, and consequently be more productive and well rested. It will also be really interesting to see a side-by-side comparison of the effectiveness of Beddit, to determine if attaching to the bed instead of the body has a negative effect on accuracy.
On the same note of new gadgets we love, this is Dash; quantified self for your car. According to their website, Dash is an innovative approach to helping you measure, maintain, and improve the health of your car. The ultimate goal with Dash is to create safer roads and drivers with less wear and tear in their car. According to the founder Jamyn Edis, this goal can be achieved via three different approaches; Pre-Transit Feedback (potential engine issues), In-Transit Feedback (You’re braking too hard, over-accelerating etc) and Post-Transit Feedback (Giving you constructive feedback such as 3 tips to drive safer and reduce the wear on your car on the next trip.). We think this is such a useful gadget with great potential and we can’t wait to build it into our car. This will reduce the need for repairs and result in more informed drivers.
Memoto can not be called Memoto any more. We have come to the conclusion that the brand Memoto can’t be used on a global scale, specifically because it conflicts with similar trademarks in the market. After painfully realizing we have to give up Memoto and search for a new name, we are very pleased with what we have found. The company previously known as Memoto is now called Narrative. We think Narrative resonates very well with what we try do to and under this new name we can even better explore our ideas for the future.
Finally, we can announce the starting date for the shipping to Narrative’s Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers: on November 1st, the first batch of cameras will roll out from the factory in Taiwan. From there on, we will continue shipping as quickly as possible. In a couple of weeks, we will have an interface ready where you can log in with your email address to see an estimate on when your unit will arrive.
As always, we appreciate your feedback. Because of the name change, some of the contact points have been updated:
We wouldn’t have come this far without our fantastic community and we want to thank you for all for your support and faith in us. Please head on over to the former Memoto website to read a letter from Martin, our CEO.
If you look at the wearable technology and quantified self market out there, you will no doubt find an overwhelming number of lifelogging applications out there, that will promise to offer you insights into your health. With competition increasing daily with the boom of the quantified self market, we inevitably see many companies striving to outdo each other by promising better accuracy in the user data. A simple quantified self search on Google will bring up countless user reviews providing a comparison of results among the different gadgets. Just check out this user who wore 21 trackers at once, or this man who went on a run with eight trackers. My point is that, with so many choices out there, accuracy is no doubt one of the core differentiating factor when choosing an application or gadget. However, even if you have chosen one, how can you be sure that the data you received is meaningful and accurate? One that is reflective of your environment? In this article, the writer has revealed that the most common mistake that people make when analyzing their self-tracking data is treating it as stationary; that the variables that they track are independent of time, and are affected only by changes in the treatment or routines. However, our health changes in accordance to the weather, our lifestyle and even the time. This writer highlighted three invisible temporal patterns that are likely to be present in your self-tracking data, that if ignored during analysis could lead to counter-productive interpretations. Check this article out to achieve better accuracy in your data!
How many of you have gone for days without seeing your family members, just because each of you have such busy schedules? I bet most of us do! As we get increasingly busy with our daily lives with school and work, spending time together or even keeping track of each other seems to be harder than before. Sure, we have social media platforms and messaging services to keep each other updated, but sometimes, it can be really mundane having to constantly text or call to update each other manually. So, what if you have an application that can just do this for you automatically? This is what the Life360 application intend to achieve, by functioning as a family network users use to coordinate their daily lives. Besides offering the standard features like location-tracking, check-in (e.g. the “mom, I’m okay” button), geo-fenced alerts, messaging (both one-to-one and group chat), and the emergency/panic button alerting functionality, Life360 also hope to extend their app and become more integrated into the automative and home security systems. Imagine having your home security systems automatically arming the alarm when it detects that no family members are in the house. Or meeting your sister for a cup of coffee simply because the app detects that she is nearby and send you a push notification. We like how the Life 360 plans to integrate extra features into their app, just to offer a seamless family coordination service. With the recent $3 million strategic backing from BMW, we cant wait to see how this application will develop!
In previous twil blog posts, we have shared extensively on possible solutions to achieving longer battery lives. (Remember the Tespack solar panel or the Ambient Backscatter?) Today, we are here to share an amazing innovation created by Khare, an 18 year old student, who invented a way to fully charge a phone battery in one minute. Why are we so obsessed with battery life? Simply because long battery lives are fundamental in lifelogging. It would be counter-productive to have a lifelogging device shut down in the middle of the day because of a flat battery. This is such a breakthrough discovery, and we cant wait to see how this can further benefit the wearable technology industry.
With so many choices of self-tracking apps out in the market, tracking our data seems easier than before. However, how many of us can safely say that we diligently use the data given to us to further improve ourselves? Or proudly say that we have consistently stuck to a fitness regime or a mobile fitness application? It is easy to get carried away in our quest to be healthier, but harder to stay with it. So, how can we be more disciplined? According to this article, it is simply by finding the application that fits you best – whether you seek intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. Apps and gadgets can help you stick to a fitness regime, but they only take you so far. There are no one best application that will suit everyone. Like the finishing sentence of this article states, “When it comes to fitness, perhaps we are what we do. Our bodies are programmable. We just have to find the app that lets us log into our true selves.”
To end off your week, check out this time-lapse video of the Sicilian sunset which was compiled together with pictures taken from the Memoto camera. (We´ve blogged about it in our last weekly update, but we thought it is too cool not to post it again!) How did our team member capture such stable shots? Simply by attaching the camera to a wine bottle and letting the camera work its magic! The shots are taken and easily edited into a time-lapse using iMovie. So, in terms of creativity with the Memoto camera, there are no limits to how you can use it and how you can further use the pictures! Some food for thought, before receiving your camera!
If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for our monthly newsletter here! PS – Have you checked out our newest sample pictures yet? It is up on our Instagram account!