Tag Archives: Lifeloggers

This week in lifelogging: Motorola’s electronic tattoo, lifelogger Rupert Murdoch and tracking in your sleep

Motorola patents an electronic skin tattoo

We know how lifelogging devices are getting increasingly small. And we know how people are also getting increasingly bold with lifelogging, even to the extent of inserting computer chips into their own body without anesthetic nor a doctor. Now, what if lifelogging was taken a step further and seamlessly integrated onto one’s body through a thin electronic skin tattoo? In the picture above, we see a newly patented electronic skin tattoo, which is registered by Motorola, now owned by Google. This electronic tattoo can be worn on a person’s neck, and would function as a mobile microphone, lie detector and digital display. Although limited to these functions for now, Motorola could probably convert such tattoos to allow self-tracking of certain vital signs, should they choose to do so. Most things are not impossible with the speed at which technology is advancing right now. However, one question remains: is this taking lifelogging a step too far?

Read more: Motorola wants to tattoo a smartphone receiver on your neck and Technology gets skintight

Rupert Murdoch begins lifelogging

Joining the family of lifeloggers recently is Mr. Rupert Murdoch, founder of News Corporation and its successors, News Corp and 21st Century Fox, after the former split earlier this year. His choice of lifelogging device? The Jawbone UP. This stylish wristband tracks one’s sleep, movement and eating behaviors. According to an interview with him, Mr. Rupert Murdoch says that the Jawbone UP “allows me to track and maintain my health much better. It allows my family and I to know more about one another’s health too, which means it encourages more personal and social responsibility – instead of just running to the doctor when we don’t feel well.” Perhaps this marks a shift in the way we define medical technology? We are definitely looking forward to more “big names” embracing such lifelogging devices!

Read more: Rupert Murdoch tracking his own movements with wearable computing

The ultimate quantified self device

The redistribution of information from doctors to patients can prove to be very useful. According to researchers at the University of Southern California, heart patients who have implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) in them already have the best quantified self device that anyone can have. More than other wearable tech devices, ICDs are able to measure a wide range of health data, including but not limited to activity levels, heart rates, blood pressure and sleep patterns. Although ICDs presently measure these vital signs, precious information are often withheld because only the doctors have the experience and knowledge to decode such complicated information. However, what a collaboration between Karten Design, Boston Scientific, and the USC Center for Body Computing hopes to achieve, is to boil down such information so that everyone who has an ICD in them can comprehend these information and manage their own health better. Indeed, as Gary Wolf says, “The self is just our operation center, our consciousness, our moral compass. So, if we want to act more effectively in the world, we have to get to know ourselves.” We should be taking ownership of the tremendous amount of data that our bodies produce every day, shouldn’t we?

Read more: The Ultimate Quantified-Self Device Already Exists: A Defibrillator

Sleeping and still tracking

Had your full 8 hours of sleep but still yawning the minute you wake up? These sleep trackers could be of some help to you if you still can’t figure out the reason for your constant fatigue after countless Google searches or doctor’s visits. And if self tracking is not your kind of thing because you find that it is a huge hassle, a new European startup is also striving to keep this process as hassle-free and convenient as possible. Known as Bedscales, this new product wants to be your new way of effortlessly keeping track of your weight and sleep, allowing you to say goodbye to the wires, straps and wristbands. Simply slide the devices beneath the legs of your bed and do the thing we all love to do – sleep. Bedscales then tracks and analyzes your sleeping behaviors in an easy way that you can process. Interested to make Bedscales a reality? Support them at their Kickstarter campaign today!

Read more: Bedscales pitches a weight-monitoring device that works while you sleep

If you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter! PS – Have you read about our name change, funding and our official shipping date? Read our CEO letter here

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

If you enjoyed this post, please follow us on twitter and facebook! PS – Have you pre-ordered your Memoto Lifelogging Camera yet?

Lifeloggers: Watch the documentary today

The documentary about the pioneers, thought leaders and entrepreneurs behind the lifelogging and self-tracking movement is out! Visit http://lifeloggersmovie.com/ to see the 25 minute film. Shot last summer, the film looks at the roots of the movement, talks to the people who have introduced lifelogging to the world and explores the implications self-tracking may have on our lives. Let us know what you think!


More on Lifelogging

Also check out the guest blog posts from some of the experts featured in the film as well as the filmmakers themselves:

Interview with Steve Mann

What’s Gordon Bell betting on?

Interview with Lifeloggers reporter, Amanda Alm

Biohacking with the Bulletproof Executive, Dave Asprey

A chat with Lifeloggers man behind the camera, Victor Bloom

Lifeloggers film editor, Julian Antell

Lifeloggers: behind the camera with Victor Bloom


Photo of Ville Bloom

Victor Bloom is originally from Värmland, Sweden. His interest in film started at an early age, and like many of his friends he dreamed of a future career in film. He had moved to Stockholm to study media and learn how to do production and editing work for film and TV when he got the offer from Memoto to film a documentary that would take him around the world.

“Working while traveling all over the world wasn’t exactly the kind of gig you could turn down. It feels surreal that we actually got the job. Getting to travel and meet all these interesting people… it’s hard to describe when people ask about it. It’s hard to not sound like you’re bragging – which might be natural. Among everything else, I’m so happy I got the opportunity to see so many places in the USA, a country I adore. It was a great experience,” Ville says.

It was also an experience of much inspiration and personal development, having unique and interesting people such as Steve Mann share ideas and insights. From Dave Asprey in Canada, Ville learned that it’s possible to “biohack” yourself to make the body work more efficiently, improve your IQ and gain other benefits. That made him curious about the various tech gadgets Dave was using. “I’d have to save up the money first, but I’d like try some of those technologies to improve myself”, Ville says.

At the moment he uses lifelogging to keep tabs of his food intake. Taking notes of everything he eats makes room for reflection when he reviews the log later. “I’m trying to be on a diet – by logging my food I can look at the straight facts of all the unhealthy things I eat,” Ville says.

After coming home, Ville was also tasked with editing the trailer for Lifeloggers. He’s focusing on his career, aspiring to work in film or TV. “Sometime in the future I’d like to produce a film of my own,” Ville concludes.

Interested in learning more about Lifelogging? Visit http://lifeloggersmovie.com for more information.

Lifeloggers: Meet the reporter, Amanda Alm

Let us introduce Amanda Alm, the film student we sent on a worldwide trip to talk to people for the Lifeloggers movie. She’s 24 years old, comes from Västerås and has recently returned there after studying TV/film production in Stockholm. In addition to her interest in media, her big passion is acting and she has a background in amateur theatre, and tells us that her classes in improvisational theatre have proven very useful to her as a reporter.

The teachers at Amanda’s school often passed along gigs to her class and if you were interested and had the spare time you would send an application. In this case, Martin and Oskar placed an ad at the school. Amanda was understandably excited: “I realized this was no ordinary gig and I jumped on the opportunity right away. I had plans to do internships a bit later, but then Memoto and the world became my internship!”, Amanda says.

Thad Starner and Amanda Alm

She had unforgettable moments almost every day during the trip, but to get first-hand experience of all sorts of incredible technology was the coolest part. For example, trying out Thad Starner’s custom-made portable computer. It looked like future glasses straight out of Terminator or Minority Report (the precursor to Google Glass) and was mind-blowing:

“A mini-browser was displayed right before my eyes, and I saw search hits on my name. Thad had instantly googled me right as we met and I hadn’t noticed a thing!” recants Amanda.

They learned something new from every person they met, but the visit with Karen and Richard was very emotional. They were told the story about the couple’s little daughter who was born with a fatal disease and passed away at the age of 4. This was a story of lifelogging from a completely different perspective, as an aid in healthcare, for communication with the extended community (who demonstrated an enormous commitment to help) and for the ones left behind after Sophia was gone.

“I so admire the strength of Karen and Richard, and I’ve never felt as welcomed as during our tearful visit. They are amazing people and I hope I’ll get the opportunity to see them again soon,” Amanda describes the visit.

The word sousveillance, different from surveillance as vividly explained by Steve Mann, was new to Amanda. She finds it interesting to think of lifelogging as a way of sousveillance, a way to share your own point of view to balance out some the surveillance we’re unknowingly subjected to in everyday life. Amanda mentions an example: the recent meteorite crash in Russia. “Drivers having dash cams attached to their cars is common there and what’s captured can provide valuable evidence for situations like accidents etc. Those dash cams were invaluable in gathering lots of material on that meteorite, something useful for scientific analysis,” Amanda suggests.

After coming home she started keeping a food journal, in order to improve her health and vary her weekly menus. “I have an absolute belief in the benefits of lifelogging, both to keep yourself healthy and as an aid in doctor visits etc. In the longer perspective, I think that lifelogging will become integral parts of your private life and your home, and become really helpful in other aspects of life”, Amanda tells us.

After the trip, Amanda graduated from film school and has gotten various jobs, such as assisting in TV productions and acting in minor productions. “I’m currently corresponding with a few contacts from the trip about jobs in the US, we’ll see what comes out of that. My dream job is to be a traveling reporter. Memoto helped me realize that,” she concludes.

Interested in learning more about Lifelogging? Visit http://lifeloggersmovie.com for more information.

Come and learn about lifelogging and Memoto

Lifeloggers, the documentary commissioned by Memoto last year, is ready!

May 14th from 18.00 to 20.00, Memoto, along with co-hosts Pronto and Ziggy, are happy to present the offline premiere of our documentary on lifelogging. The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the Memoto Team.

If you’re in Stockholm, we’d love to see you!

Reserve your (free) tickets here: http://memoto.eventbrite.com

See the trailer on lifeloggersmovie.com


Interview with Steve Mann on the rise of sousveillance

Steve Mann is a tenured professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto and also the General Chair for the IEEE ISTAS13 conference in Toronto 27-29th June 2013, http://veillance.me – where Memoto’s CEO will be a speaker. Mann is considered the “father of wearable computing.” He is featured in the upcoming documentary, Lifeloggers.


Photo: Mann

How Steve Mann became the “father of wearable computing”

I began with something I called “Digital Eye Glass” to help people see better.  This was inspired by a childhood fascinating with welding, and electric discharge, lighting, etc., to be able to see extreme dynamic range and extreme lighting situations such as extreme electronic flash and extreme electric arc discharge lamps, etc., together with computer overlays, i.e. Augmediated Reality. After I developed the Generation-1 Digital Eye Glass in 1980, with graphics and text overlays from a 6502 microprocessor-based computer with NTSC output, another company, 3M, came up with something called “SpeedGlas” or “SpeedGlass,” in 1981, which helps people see better by globally darkening the entire glass, but not in a way that allows one to discern any spatial variation — their glass darkened completely over its entire field-of-view.  My Eye Glass helped the wearer see better by processing video imagery and re-displaying it for better eyesight.

While wearing the Eye Glass in everyday life, I found I was being stopped by security guards concerned that I might be taking pictures.  At the time computers did not have enough capacity to even store a single image in its entirety.  In 1980 my entire wearable computer had only 64k of RAM == not enough store even a single frame of video.

But these encounters with paranoid security guards got me thinking about “Veillance” because it seemed that the only places I was having problems wearing a computerized seeing aid were places that had surveillance cameras. Back in those days surveillance cameras were very rare, but they were starting to appear in more and more places, and I was starting to be harassed by security guards in more and more places for merely wearing a vision aid.

The beginning of sousveillance

So I began thinking about “surveillance” and formulated a theory that what I was wearing was the reciprocal of surveillance, i.e. inverse surveillance.

In Canada where I was born, most people speak some French, “surveillance” is a French word that means “watching from above” or “watching over” or “overwatching.” “Veillance” means “watching” or “monitoring” or “sight”, and “sur” means “over” or “from above”. So I referred to my vision aid as a “sousveillance” device, from the French prefix “sous” which means “below,” “beneath,” or “under,” as in “sous-chef” or “sous la table” (under the table).

Somehow my invention (the sousveillance device) gets along with surveillance like antimatter gets along with matter, i.e. conflict. And since surveillance was growing greatly, it seemed so was the opposition to sousveillance by officials of the “surveillance superhighway” quickly growing throughout our country.

In 1992 I was accepted at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.) and brought my invention to the MIT Media Lab to found the “MIT Wearable Computing Project.”  Here’s a short video with an interview of the Director of the MIT Media Lab, Nicholas Negroponte, explaining how this all started:  http://www.glogger.mobi/v/75560

In 1993 with the introduction of the World Wide Web, I did something fun and interesting.  I created something I called “Wearable Wireless Webcam” and put my Eye Glass online streaming live video to the then new World Wide Web. By 1995, I was on “Cool Site of the Day,” which, at the time, was the world’s largest web portal.  http://wearcam.org/eastcampusfire and here’s an article someone wrote criticizing my invention: http://tech.mit.edu/V116/N28/mann.28c.html

By 1998 I had miniaturized this technology in a neckworn pendant containing a camera with fisheye lens and various sensors; see  http://www.glogger.mobi/v/199679. This creates something I called a “LifeGlog,” a lifelong “glog.”


“Glog” is short for “CYBORGlog” in the same way that “Blog” is short for “WEBlog”. A lifeglog is a lifelong cyborglog, i.e. a log that does not take conscious thought or effort to generate. A weblog requires thought or effort to write. A lifelog can be for example, a handwritten diary kept over one’s entire life, whereas a lifeglog is generated automatically by machine.

I made the design (of the sousveillance device) to mimick the appearance of the surveillance cameras in the world around me. In this way it takes on a familiar aesthetic but artistically a detournement, re-situating these familiar objects in a different way.

Lessons from lifeglogging

Glogging has taught me a lot about other people.  One thing I learned is about integrity. Surveillance embodies a kind of hypocrisy: “we’re going to watch you but you’re not allowed to watch us.” (See http://www.glogger.mobi/v/180231) The opposite of surveillance is sousveillance.  The opposite of hypocrisy is integrity. In some sense, therefore, the sousveillance necklace is a kind of “honesty pendant” that focuses on integrity and diminishes, or challenges, hypocrisy.

Sousveillance teaches us a lot about human nature, honesty, integrity, corruption, and the like. Most notably, the lines between surveillance and sousveillance are being blurred, and I look forward to seeing companies like Memoto bring forth a “Veillance” society that challenges the “Sur” in “Sur-Veillance.”

Interested in learning more about Lifelogging? Visit http://lifeloggersmovie.com for more information.

The Editing of Lifeloggers: Julian Antell


In anticipation of releasing our documentary, Lifeloggers, we spoke with Julian Antell. Julian is the freelance film editor who edited Lifeloggers. He has years of experience from film/television (notably, he edited one of the trailers for Award-winning documentary Searching For Sugarman) and was finishing his degree from the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts when he saw our ad and was immediately intrigued.

When going through all the raw material for the first time, Julian was impressed by the people in the interviews, how they demonstrated a passion and deep knowledge about “lifelogging”, an area that most of us don’t have a firm grasp on. The expert who fascinated him the most was Ernesto Ramirez, who constructed a creative solution to the sedentary lifestyle challenge by combining his office desk with a treadmill.

Julian found the talks in the film though-provoking, like when they illustrate our society’s gradual concatenation of our digital and physical selves, exemplified by the concept of “sousveillance”:

“I had never heard the word before, but when I think about it, it strikes me as a similar concept to cinematography’s ‘point of view’ that can be seen in the movies Lady In The Lake (1947), Strange Days (1995) and Enter The Void (2009),” Julian says.

After the film made him curious to try lifelogging himself, Julian started using “Mappiness” (an iPhone app to log your mood), but abandoned it after three days of use.

“I felt unmotivated to actively log my mood every day, plus it’s hard to try and give an objective measurement to something as subjective as mood. But I’d like to find a way to do lifelogging that actually suits me,” Julian concludes.

Interested in learning more about Lifelogging? Visit http://lifeloggersmovie.com for more information.

Memoto at TNW conference

Memoto will be in Amsterdam for TNW conference. Catch up with Niclas (@niclasj) and Sarah (@uSweSarah) if you’re curious about Memoto and our upcoming documentary, Lifeloggers. We’d love to talk to you!


We will also host a pre-screening of the documentary, Lifeloggers, on Thursday evening at 18.00. Please get in touch with us if you are interested in attending, seating is limited.

Check out the Lifeloggers trailer below!

Lifeloggers – official trailer from Memoto on Vimeo.

See you in Amsterdam!

What’s Gordon Bell betting on?

By Gordon Bell. Gordon is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft working on lifelogging and appears in the upcoming documentary, Lifeloggers.

With all the cameras aimed at continuous personal recording that Steve Mann called Sousveillance, it seems certain that “Extreme Lifelogging” by 2020 is certain—a prediction I made in 2010. Whether Extreme Lifelogging (EL), or for that matter, any technology becomes a useful product or service is based on three factors: Can it be done? Is it proven to be useful i.e. does anyone want it at that price? And is it legal? Until now, only a few of us were exploring whether it was useful for anything other than the creation of research papers including human interest stories about weird looking people. Only a few thousand cameras capable of near EL existed and were in use including a few being used for research to aid people with impaired memory. EL with images and AUDIO recording for everything we see and hear are yet to be available and in use by consumers. The recording of conversations, particularly phone conversations is certainly prevalent for commercial purposes, yet there is little real use of audio aka voice recording.

Generally overlooked is that a number of police forces are being equipped with high quality, personal video recorders attached to a patrol person or their car. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/business/wearable-video-cameras-for-police-officers.html?emc=eta1&_r=0 Let me not discuss this because hundreds of articles, blogs, books, lawsuits, papers, and TV programs (including a real TV program of arrests) have been and will be devoted to this. Needless to say, because these devices are small, have to work and deliver reliable results, the engineering of this equipment is something that should be the envy of extreme lifeloggers. Watch, sunglasses, shirt button, etc. embedded video spy cameras are plentiful at less than $100 for surreptitious recording. Ironically, while sousveillance is also thought of as the inverse of surveillance, with pervasive and ubiquitous recording by everything by everybody, we will reach having the ultimate, full-scale surveillance.

Happily for those of us who believe there may be a utility of various facets of lifelogging this is all about to change brought about by cameras like the “Go Pro” still/video camera for sports. Smartphones e.g. iPhone host a plethora of time lapse photo and video apps that are only limited by imagination and battery life. Two SenseCam inspired devices from Autographer and Memoto are in the process of being engineered for introduction. All these devices will end up costing about $500 depending on whether there is some sort of service subscription for image storage. Sensr.net, a company I invested in, hosts video and time-lapse photos from these sources as well as web cams.

Google Glass is the device that has drawn the most attention for several reasons: it is more than a video camera and mic mounted on the frame of a glasses; it has a speaker and display evolved from Thad Starner’s years of experience and displays; and finally it is a platform for apps. Already various Silicon Valley venture funds are being raised to support startup companies who will use GG as a component for all manner of apps. Thus, it is a safe bet that a significant app will emerge from so many tries.


I would like to place an optimistic bet that within 5 years, there will be 10 million GGs in use when priced at a few hundred dollars.

Alternatively, if someone has a more optimistic feeling and is willing to bet 2 years and just 2 million units, I’d take the conservative side—the side I usually win on.

Republished with permission of the author.

Interested in learning more about Lifelogging? Visit http://lifeloggersmovie.com for more information.