Tag Archives: Google

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

Evolution of how we process things

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

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

Image credited to Faith on Campus

All things are “ask Google”

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

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

Image credited to City Lab

All things are shared and social

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Click on picture above for full infographic

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

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

All things are quantified

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

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

Image credited to Getty Images

All things could be archived for the generations to come

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

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

Image credited to University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS)

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

Enough of Apple

tim cook

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

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

Image credited to Apple

QS 2015 Conference

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

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

Image credited to QS

Google wants to cure death

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

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

Image credited to Time

Sony EyeGlass Prototype

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

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

Image credited to The Guardian

Fashion, style and wellness

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

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

Image credited to Opening Ceremony

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This week in lifelogging: more than that, tracking with OptimizeMe and Google’s most photographed cities

More than just self-tracking

When we think about lifelogging, phrases such as the quantified self or wearable tech often surface in our minds. However, just like Mike Gotta at Gartner cleverly pointed out, we too believe that lifelogging goes beyond that. As seen clearly on the diagram above by Mike, the quantified life has many dimensions to it. The personalized sensors or wearable tech gadgets that we own, the cloud where we upload our personal analytics to, and the personal support networks and communities we turn to for advice on better quantifying our data are merely one aspect of lifelogging, or living your quantified life. The lifelogging journey goes beyond that to encompass the backstage aspects of research, design, digital business, society at large, funding and business development, internet of things and workforce engagement. It is interesting to see how Mike Gotta put this all into perspective and show us the importance of communication between the company and its consumers so that each individual can make better sense of his/her own data.

Read more: Your Sensored Life: An Expanded View of Quantified Self

Image credited to Gartner

OptimizeMe launches to make sense of your QS

Speaking of making better sense of the data that we track, OptimizeMe seeks to do just that and hopes to be optimizing everyone’s lives. With an intuitive interface to record anything and with the activity tracker Moves installed, OptimizeMe allows users to track their daily activities and then have them analyzed by Ari, what they call a personal life coach. Ari could provide insights on how your mood has been affected by sleep or how your stress level is correlated with the quality of your sleep, for instance. You could also make use of OptimizeMe to help you attain the goals you set for the New Year (remember how we mentioned making use of the quantified self to help you achieve some of your New Year’s resolutions?). Although OptimizeMe prides itself on being fully customizable according to users’ needs, some have also mentioned that the user interface could be a little overwhelming. That said, we think that OptimizeMe could be something very useful for all you Quantified Self-ers, so why don’t you try it today?

Read more: OptimizeMe launches on iOS to make sense of your quantified self and Wearable computing: 10 things you should know

Image credited to Central dos Apps

Most photographed cities

sightsmap

Photo-taking and geotagging them have become a part of many of our lifestyles. Whether it’s taking a coffee break at a quaint little cafe or traveling to the ends of the earth for a picture with the polar bears or white tigers, many have taken it as a habit to upload pictures of these moments to Instagram, for instance, and then geotagging it so that our friends know exactly where we’ve been. With such a strong phenomenon taking over the photography world, Google recently released a heat map that highlights the Earth’s most photographed locales. Data included in this map, known as Sightsmap, comes only from geolocated images uploaded by individual users to the Google Maps Panoramio service, which associates images with locations in Google Maps and Google Earth. According to Sightsmap, Europe is the most photographed continent and New York City reigns as the most photographed city of the world. Although these statistics aren’t entirely indicative of the exact places you should visit, Sightsmap even allows you to plan a trip with the map by selecting a starting point and destination, which then brings up estimated travel time and links to travel sites. Let your wanderlust begin!

Read more: The Most Photographed Cities on Earth, According to Google

Dove beauty project nails it

A part of many people’s lifelogging journey includes taking selfies to see how one’s appearance has changed over time. And for some of these people, uploading these pictures to social media platforms have been an essential step in this process. However, with this increasing trend, many young people have based their self-esteem on the number of likes they received or positive comments they garnered. But of course, the downside of this is that many young people end up having low self confidence because of the negative comments they receive, or simply by scrolling through their social media accounts to see how “beautiful” other people’s selfies can be. To counter that, Dove, as part of the familiar Dove campaigns for real beauty, executed a photography project that revealed the insecurities that these girls possessed, and subsequently got them to see how beautiful they really are. Watch the video above and be blown away by these little (and slightly older) beauties!

Read more: This Photo Project Forced Girls To Honestly Look At Their Insecurities, And The Results Are Amazing (Video)
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This week in lifelogging: compressed time-lapse, mapping for Google and tracking with a second skin

Lifelogging photography project

Think this image was staged? Think again. One of the most obvious consequences of staging this picture is the formation of a snowy mess of angry people at the end of the slope. Well then, how did this photographer ensure that every one leaves the slope happier than before after a real good run? The answer – compressing plenty (and we mean PLENTY) of time-lapse photographs. What photographer Pelle Cass has essentially created, as we at Memoto would like to call it, is an excellent lifelogging project. He has managed to capture the emotions of so many people doing the same thing at different times into a single final frame. View his other works here. Now we are really excited to see what kinds of photography projects would come out of using the Memoto Lifelogging Camera!

Read more: These Hundred-Photo Composites Take Street Photography to the Next Level

Google’s mapping task for backpackers

If your interests lie in backpacking around the world, rather than thinking of creative photography projects, then Google has just the right task for you! As you travel to exotic places, logging them with Trekker, Google’s wearable backpack camera system, could allow you to share your exciting journey with the whole world. This wearable camera has 15 lenses angled at different directions so that the images can be stitched to form a 360-degree panoramic view. These images will then help Google to improve its Street View function, as they extend into areas that cannot be reached by vehicles. Sound awesome already? Sign up today!

Read more: Google Is Looking For Brave (And Strong) Backpackers To Help It Map The World’s Hard-To-Reach Places

Tracking with a second skin

Remember the banning of the full-body swimsuits in 2010 that allegedly resulted in the breaking of an astounding number of world records? Although the above looks similar to those swimsuits that Michael Phelps and others wore in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, this Hexoskin suit serves quite a different function. With its all-textile sensors, Hexoskin can be used by athletes or quantified self fans to log their vital signs such as heart rate or breath volume, and have this information simultaneously delivered to one’s iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth. We think that integrating the Hexoskin with existing lifelogging apps would be good. What do you think?

Read more: Hexoskin–A Second Skin for the Quantified Athlete And Maybe Even You!

Most desired wearable tech places

If you simply cannot get used to wearing a full body suit, then perhaps you would find yourself as part of the majority, who prefer to wear tech devices on their wrists, clipped to clothings or attached to shoes. Although speculations have it that one’s wrists will be dominated by the Apple iWatch in future, we thought that this smart watch could be potentially useful for all worrying parents. Filip, a smart locator and phone for kids, provides the basic functions required for parents to stay connected with their children at all times even while they discover new places. Excellent idea!

Read more: Details on Apple’s iWatch and New iPhone Emerge and Meet Filip, a simple smartwatch for young kids to call home

Happy Independence Day America!

Here’s sharing an awesome fireworks video to celebrate. Have a good weekend!

More videos: 10 Gorgeous Fireworks Displays That Have Nothing To Do With July 4th

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This week in lifelogging: Google for tracking and self experiments

Things are speeding up here at Memoto. We have som fun things to show very soon and we are all focusing on getting it out as soon as possible. But because of that, this week’s sum-up of the lifelogging universe is off a bit fewer words than usual. To compensate: even more great tips on nice lifelogging stories, services and thoughts.:)

How to use Google Docs and Gmail to track anything

This is really convenient. You use two services you probably already use to create a whole new tool. 1+2=3.

How to design self experiments

Not satisfied with that simple A/B test? Why not try an A/B/A test or even go for the A/B/A/B one? I love posts like this.

A very long video about interaction design for Quantified Self

This one is an hour long. But interesting, none the less.

Bodytrack – a new lifelogging service from Fluxtream

This looks interesting. I would love to hear more about how it really works?

12 years in 8 minutes

Viral loops work in mysterious ways. This video has been circulating the web for quite some time in different versions and seems to have surfaced again this week on various outlets. It is an amazing video though. Watch it and get nervous about your aging…

A Pinterest board all about lifelogging

Last but not least, a full Pinterest board dedicated to lifelogging. Thank you Richard Leis! Does anyone have a picture to add to the board? Let Richard know!

 

So San Francisco!

Busy week

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Monday

Arriving to the hostel (USA Hostels) we were tired and hungry and conveniently, iThai was just across the street. That’s right, we had noodles in an Apple-inspired thairestaurant.
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So we’re sitting there eating “Pod Thai”when Gordon Bell calls. Good job Amanda! You just earned 10points to your Fool’s Travelcard! I totally forgot that we rescheduled the interview to one day earlier. I wanted to hit myself in the head with the Go Pro. But Gordon was really nice about it and the moment we stepped in to his apartment I forgot all about my stupidity.

He’s got a pretty neat view that Mr. Bell. In every city we’ve been to and at almost every interview we’ve done his name have come up so it was an honor to finally meet him in person. Interesting facts: Gordon hates paper. He and his friend Jim Gemmel turned it into a project to digitalize every pice of document in Gordon’s possession. Quite some project!

Tuesday

Brian Kerr

The guy lived a life with low self-esteem and bad health. But when his beloved grandma (whom he was very close to) past away he came to a turning point and decided it was time to do something. So he started tracking bits of his day-to-day life in a regular notebook. Thanks to the logging he saw how different things effected him and was able to experiment his way to a healthier lifestyle. I admire the discipline and strength it must take to make that kind of change.
And it doesn’t have to be more complicated than a pen and a notebook. He has one with him during our interview as well.

Wednesday

Trōv

Took a trip to San Ramon and met the creators behind the fresh started company Trōv. And these guys aren’t just trying to establish a new business, they want to print a new expression. Next time you buy a car you might be asked if you want to “trōv” all the info regarding your purchase. That’s what Scott and Jim are striving towards. And yes this is the same Jim who scanned Gordon Bells paper-life.

They are using the tools of lifelogging to provide a service were you collect all the information about your “physical” fortune (such as your home, cars, art etc) in one place to get a better view and knowledge about them.

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Memolane

We got so inspired when we met Eric and Katie that we decided to create a Memolane for this trip. You can check it out soon, I’ll keep you posted!
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On the way back I bought art from a random dude on the street. He said I could lay a bid on it and I still had money left from London, so I gave him 20£

I think he got the winning deal. But I have a nice painting with a fun story to it – so I’m thinking it was worth it.

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Great hostel btw, breakfast included and bed lights. It’s all about appreciating the small things.
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Thursday

Google-goodies & Facebook fail

We left early and took the Amtrak to Silicon Valley & Google-land. It seriously felt like we should have brought our passports. The area is huge and people are riding google-bikes. So the first meeting was with Thad Starner; google glass developer and master of multitasking!
I’m not joking. This guy is taking notes and googling me while we’re having a conversation – and I didn’t even notes.

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We continued on to the Facebook facilities for an interview with Timeline-creator Steven Young.
Well at least we can say we met him…
…and then security and PR-manager came.

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Friday

Maren Connary

If there is such a thing as Retro-lifeloggers, Maren is certainly one of them. She’s been making scrapbooks since her teens and have a bookshelf filled with aluminum containers that store her entire life. You could say she’s the opposite to Gordon Bell.

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Karen Herzog and Richard Sachs

Karen and Richards daughter Sophia was born with an incurable decease and lived for only 4 years. Through her and her parents lifelog she touched and united people all over the world. Thank you Karen & Richard for inviting us to your home. I’ll bring the Sophia’s story with me always.

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In a previous post I asked if it still counts as lifelogging if your logging someone else’s life. After this day, I would definitely say it does.