Tag Archives: Lifelogging

This week in lifelogging: the miserable, the lovers and the haters

The “miserable” days of lifelogging

Lifelogging is going mainstream. To those in doubt, you’re not alone. This week, we found a writer at Mashable, Max Knoblauch, who spent the past 30 days quantifying his life because he simply did not believe in the quantified self movement. After consulting a lifelogging guru, Nicholas Felton, who publishes his quantified data in beautiful graphics every year, Max started logging everything from the existential “Are you looking forward to today?” to the trivial, “What do you smell”. However, this to him was certainly not enjoyable because he felt that manual data input is a hindrance to the daily activity it’s supposed to be tracking. He had to intentionally interrupt his activities in order to key those self-tracking data into his mobile phone. Every 90 minutes for every single day. In other words, it was a total hassle. And he was miserable. However, as you might have already guessed, Max started seeing value in the things that he tracked. When he first saw how the data was visualized on his phone, he felt that his mediocrity is truly a sight to behold. This, as he concluded, is the real value of data tracking — revealing small, random yet somehow surprising bits of information that the tracker really wasn’t aware of. It’s all in retrospect. And like Steven Beatty rightly recognizes, it is addictive.

Read more: Lifelogging: The Most Miserable, Self-Aware 30 Days I’ve Ever Spent and Why am I so Intrigued with the Idea of Quantified Self?

Image credited to Mashable

Love and lifelogging

And if the love for self-tracking data is not going to move you to start quantifying your life, maybe this would. Here’s how Tom Fletcher, one of the lead vocalists and guitarists of English pop rock band McFly won the hearts of so many people simply by combining songwriting and lifelogging. As it is written here, “when he’s not busy writing amazing pop songs, Tom Fletcher spends his time making the male population look like talentless schmucks with his genius videos.” His latest creation? A video showing how he sang to his wife Giovanna’s growing belly throughout her pregnancy. Titled “From Bump to Buzz”, Tom documented every day out of the nine months of pregnancy and compiled the photos into a time-lapse video. Amazing. He’s definitely raising the bar for all the men out there with this, and the earlier video of his wedding speech!

Read more: 8 reasons why Tom Fletcher is probably the most talented man in the entire world – video special and How wearable tech can make dating more enjoyable

Happiness and the quantified self

And for all of us who do not have the privilege of having someone like Tom to track the growth of our happiness everyday, here are some apps that could facilitate the process. Known as Happify and Happsee, these mobile apps have been scientifically designed to quantify happiness. According to Happify, “You have the ability to control how you feel—and with consistent practice, you can form life-long habits for a more satisfying and fulfilling life.” So with that, the app recommends daily activities that deliver the best results for you based on your goals. Others, like H(app)athon, also believe that identifying how our actions affect our well-being allows us to track what behaviors increase our happiness. In other words – if you want your life to count, you need to take a count of your life. And it also means that happiness is a choice. Do you agree?

Read more: Quantifying Happiness: Tracking Well-Being in the Age of Quantified Self

Image credited to The Ultimate Happiness

The Glass view of Glass reactions

Like any new phenomenon that try to enter the mainstream market, the rise of lifelogging and the quantified self is not all that smooth. Just a few weeks back, Mashable sent one man to the streets of New York to take a look at how people react to the Google Glass, a device in which many would indicate as a lifelogging device. As he took it to the streets, many uninvited stares darted towards him. In addition, when asked if people thought it looked cool or creepy, two sides were quickly taken. And when revealed to cost approximately $1500, all of them unanimously said that they would not pay for the Google Glass. Yet, as mentioned here, wearable technologies have the potential to enable police officers to improve situational awareness and decision making in the field. Speculations have even been made that wearable technologies could be used in the field of politics. Where do you think wearable technology would head?

Read more: Google launches Android Wear platform for wearables, smartwatch Developer Preview, devices coming later this year and Wearables won’t just record our lives, they’ll change them

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This week in lifelogging: fitness redefined, Fin at your fingertips and little Batman’s perspective

Redefining fitness in 2014

Have you lost all that extra weight gained over the festive (feasting) season of Christmas, New Year and even the Lunar New Year that began last week? Fret not if you haven’t! With the trend of lifelogging and the quantified self gaining popularity, our digitally connected devices can begin to keep us accountable to the fitness resolutions we set just one month ago. As Forbes rightly points out, staying on this digital fitness track has been made possible because fitness tracking is going mainstream. Not only are devices such as the FitBit, Jawbone UP or Nike+ Fuelband readily available in the market, complementary products and services are helping us to make even better sense of the data collected. In addition, many of such fitness apps do instill healthy competition amongst our peers or family when there is a fitness leader board of some sort. Who doesn’t like to feed that little competitive soul we all have?

Read more: Four Digital Trends Redefining Fitness in 2014

All at your fingertips

After working out and defeating all your loved ones to take first place in your fitness tracking apps, perhaps the one and only thing you’d like to do is lay in your couch, and well… do absolutely nothing. Good news! Fin lets you do just that. As a wearable transmitter that turns your palm into a touch interface, Fin enables users to control up to three devices such as smartphones, car radios and smart TVs using only swipes and taps. Just put on this ring-shaped device on your thumb, and you’re ready to lay in your couch to command your different devices using Bluetooth. The best part of Fin? Its amazing battery life that can last up to one month per charge. As use cases, the Fin team foresees Fin to be helpful for the visually challenged, for gamers since it could serve as a controller, and for fitness junkies who still want to access their phones on the go. With only 16 days left in their Indiegogo campaign, support them now if you’d like to see Fin become a reality!

Read more: Wearable Transmitter Turns Your Palm Into a Touch Interface and Is Wearable Tech Ready for the Red Carpet?

2014 Sony world photography shortlist

And if you’re more of a photographer than a fitness tracker when it comes to lifelogging, then perhaps you’d love to take a look at the shortlisted entries for the 2014 Sony World Photograph Awards. Selecting from 139,544 images from 166 countries, the judges found within the submissions many stories that force the viewer to find something surprising within the everyday life. From wildlife to architecture, or emotionally charged photographs to everyday rituals, one can only walk away in pure adoration for the skills of these photographers who managed to capture such beautiful moments. As part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, all shortlisted images will be presented at Somerset House, London, from 1-18 May. Interested? Click here to purchase your tickets today!

Read more: The 2014 Sony World Photography Awards and 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist Announced

Tiny Batman takes on the world

It’s all about perspective. Perhaps to you, Batman is all ready to take on the world. All ready to charge into that house on Napoleon Street to save a damsel in distress. Or perhaps he’s returning home. Returning to that place of familiarity. Well, not quite so. The Batman we see above stands at merely 11 inches, and probably can’t save any damsel in distress in time with the tiniest steps he takes, nor reach for the door to enter this house. This series of photographs featuring a tiny Batman traveling all over the American Southwest, is part of Rémi Noël’s work, aimed at depicting a more isolated side of the Dark Knight. Now who says Batman has to be that big and bulky superhero? Take a slightly different perspective and you too can capture some amazing photographs depicting a totally opposite side of some of your favorite characters or people!

Read more: Tiny Batman Takes a Whimsical Trip Through the American Southwest and Tumblr Art Project Gives Everyday People Monster Twins

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This week in lifelogging: QS Conference 2014, Samsung Life Times app and Jimmy Nelson photography

Quantified Self Europe Conference 2014

Every year, a group of Quantified Self enthusiasts would gather together to share the latest insights into this global movement. This year is no different and the QS Europe conference will be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from 10-11 May. This conference will be hands-on and interactive, with user-defined workshops on mood, data visualization, sleep, ethics, and many other topics. Some of the most interesting speakers from the QS Meetups all around the world will also be sharing the technological products that they use and about the culture of self-tracking. So be sure to register soon or head down to one of the Meetups closest to you for a taste of the Quantified Self!

Read more: Welcome to the 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference!

Image credited to Quantified Self

Samsung’s rumored lifelogging app

Rumor has it that Samsung is working on a new lifelogging tool. Screenshots of the app, which first appeared on SamMobile, show an app that is named Samsung Life Times. It appears to be a real-time diary that catalogs information pulled from various apps to create a personalized feed of your daily activities. Most apps can be incorporated into Samsung Life Times, including Samsung’s camera, email, memo, SMS, phone, music, and health apps, as well as to social accounts such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram. And these apps are of course incorporated by choice so you can customize exactly how you want your life’s episodes to play out. Although how this app is going to be integrated into the Samsung devices is still unclear, this lifelogging phenomenon is surely taking the tech giants’ world by storm as other major players like Sony are also developing their own lifelogging tools. We’re excited!

Read more: Leaked Photos Reveal New Samsung Lifelogging App and 5 apps to create your own mobile diary

Image credited to Mashable

Before they pass away

And if you prefer lifelogging an entire tribe of people instead of keeping your personal mobile diary, meet Jimmy Nelson (photo above), a professional photographer who has decided to embark on a journey to photograph 35 of the world’s last cultures as art and icons. His starting point? His doctor giving him some wrong medicine that caused him to lose all his hair overnight. He looked drastically different. He was the same person. But people started treating him differently. With that, he decided to leave his country to go where people are bald like him – Tibet. And along the way, he started discovering who he truly is and what he truly wanted – to photograph these tribes before they pass away. A true example of lifelogging and archiving the world’s precious cultures. His advice to us urban people? Look closer and be less quick to judge. Check out more of his amazing works here in a bid to preserve our world’s authenticity!

Watch video: Before they pass away: Jimmy Nelson at TEDxAmsterdam

Image credited to Jimmy Nelson

Happy Lunar New Year!

And to all our lovely Chinese backers and everyone else who is feasting on some Chinese New Year goodies over this weekend, here’s the Narrative team wishing you a very Happy Lunar New Year and a fantastic year ahead!

Image credited to Photo Elsoar

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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: beauty technology, finance tracking and photography projects

Smart eyelashes and nails

With consumers desiring wearable tech devices for lifelogging purposes, many companies have tried means and ways to create that one perfect small and seamless lifelogging device that would triumph all other gadgets out there. But wearable tech disguised behind long eyelashes, flashy fingernails and makeup? That has got to be unheard of. This convergence between micro-technology and fashion was first inspired into action when Katia Vega returned from her exchange studies in Hong Kong. There, she realized that women on the streets loved donning these fashion necessities. Vega is currently working on two main projects. The first project is embedding RFID tags into stylish cosmetic fingernails so that wearers can make use of a combination of finger movements to perform certain tasks like opening a passcode locked door. The second project that Vega is working on is making use of conductive makeup embedded with sensors to perform certain tasks just by blinking. Her first projects are still in its prototype phase but are expected to be commercialized with support from sponsors. If these beauty tech devices could advance beyond performing simple tasks and used for lifelogging purposes, would you put them on?

Read more: Smart Eyelashes and Fingernails: The Next Wave of Wearable Tech

Tracking your finances

And if all that Christmas or New Year’s shopping for the latest fashion accessories has sent your finances towards a downward spiral, here’s one lifelogging tool you absolutely need – Open Bank Manager by Cozy Cloud. Although finance tracking apps like Mint and Buxfer already exist, the founders of Cozy Cloud feel that using any of these services means handing over your online banking credentials to someone — and trusting them with any other data they collect about your habits. With that, they decided to release an open source tool that lets you juggle all your finances from a private personal cloud. Cozy Cloud already offers contact management, notebooks, calendars and other tools — all of which you can host on the company’s servers, or on your own servers.

Read more: ‘Quantified Self’ Movement Now Lets You Track Your Money Too

2013 quantified self tech

Besides finance tracking apps, many other Quantified Self tools have gained popularity in this past year too. In this list, we find a whole array of self-tracking tools that Silicon Angle has categorized as the top 10 Quantified Self Tech for 2013. Out of this list, we find the widely popular fitness tracking gadgets like FitBit Force, Jawbone Up and Nike FuelBand SE, as well as others like Whistle, which is a small device that fits on your dog’s collar to monitor activity levels. Our favorite gadget is up on that list too, on number 2 (: More Christmas shopping for the QSers, anyone?

Read more: Top 10 Quantified Self Tech for 2013

2013 wildlife and nature photography

Now if your dream life is to be surrounded by the natural beauties of wildlife and nature, here’s a sneak preview into the kind of photos your lifelogging camera will have. From the arresting image of a tawny owl in Rough Hill Wood, Warwickshire, to showing the Cape gannets in their breeding colony on Malgas Island, South Africa, The Guardian presents a selection of winning wildlife images, alongside stunning nature photographs that capture painting-like landscapes and log cabins straight out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Are you ready to take your lifelogging camera out to the woods yet? Here’s some more photography project ideas to capture your special moments starting 2014! With that, we at Narrative would like to take this chance to wish all of you a very Happy New Year ahead. Cheers to 2014!

Read more: Wildlife and nature photography award-winning images of 2013 – in pictures and The best photographs of 2013 – in pictures

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This week in lifelogging: love transcends generations, lifelogging in North Korea and handimation

Re-creation of memories

When we think about lifelogging, we often think of capturing the present moments so that our future selves can look back and reminisce upon the beautiful memories created. Just this past week, however, we discovered that lifelogging could mean more than that. It could mean re-creating the past as a reminder of the beautiful love story created, now partially handed on to the future generation. And this was precisely what Ben Nunery did. After losing his wife Ali to lung cancer in 2011, and then deciding to move to a bigger house that is in a good school district for his daughter Olivia, Ben wanted to re-create the beautiful memories shared with his wife when they first moved into this house. To do this, Ben contacted his sister-in-law, who was the one photographing Ben and Ali on their actual wedding day, and sent her a request to photograph Olivia and him in this same house before they handed the keys over. The result? Beautiful, heartwarming pictures like the one you see above. Beyond these photographs, Ben’s love for Ali will definitely be lived on and amplified in little Olivia. These last memories in the old house will definitely become memories that last forever.

Read more: The Nunerys and Inspirational photography books for 2014

Instagram photographer of the year

Sometime mid of this year, we launched a series known as the evolution of lifelogging, and mentioned how the launch of Instagram was the accidental birth of a visual lifelogging app. With Instagram, many began photographing their daily life so that they have a visual diary to record what happened over time. Out of its many users, countless photo journalists are also attempting to offer us an insight into the daily life of people all around the world. This year, one particular photo journalist had been given honorary mention to become TIME’s pick for Instagram photographer of the year. His name is David Guttenfelder, and he became one of the first foreign photographers to be granted the ability to work in the land of whispers, otherwise known as North Korea. Thanks to him, we now get a little glimpse into this land full of mysteries and unknowns!

Read more: David Guttenfelder Is TIME’s Pick for Instagram Photographer of the Year and Pictures That Change History: Why the World Needs Photojournalists

Vigo stops you from dozing off

And if all that late night scrolling through Instagram is causing you to doze off at work or while driving, here’s one device that you would find super useful. Known as the very first energy gauge, Vigo could be worn on either ear to be that little nudge that you need in order to stay awake. Following that, users simply have to connect Vigo to their mobile device through Bluetooth, customize when and how Vigo nudges them and finally categorize the event where Vigo was worn so that users can look back on the data later. That way, users will be able to determine when their alertness level was highest – be it at a concert, while driving or at a boardroom meeting. Not only is Vigo able to track energy levels, but it also gives recommendations on things to do when it notices that users are about to doze off. Interested in Vigo? Check them out at their Kickstarter campaign now!

Read more: Vigo Energy Gauge Does Not Let You Doze Off and Five Innovative Applications of Wearable Technology

Handimation

Besides self-tracking, wearable technology devices have also allowed fresh waves of ideas to flood into the creative industry. In the video above, you’ll find a stop-motion film created with that one wearable gadget that we’re all familiar with – the Google Glass. We too, are excited to see what creative projects are produced with the Narrative Clip! Until then, we at Narrative would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas ahead (:

Read more: Inside The Making Of The First Google Glass Stop-Motion Film and 13 Incredible Tech Inventions You Won’t Believe You Missed In 2013

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This week in lifelogging: 2014 trends, charge up in style and Marcus Møller 365 photos

What’s coming in 2014

Many people around the world have embarked on a journey of lifelogging for health reasons. Tracking everything from how well they sleep, what they have been eating or how many steps they have walked in one day, this group of people, known collectively as the Quantified Self, is only beginning to grow in numbers. With some saying that 2013 had been a year of wearables and health apps, many begin to wonder what’s next in line for the Quantified Self movement. Can wearables and health apps take us one step further in the realm of health tracking? According to Mashable, 2014 is going to be a year where we see personal health data in the doctor’s office, smart clothes (OM Signal, for instance) that replace wristbands or clip-on health trackers, and augmented nutrition where every one can scan and analyze the chemical composition of any food. Where do you see health tracking going in 2014?

Read more: 5 Health Tech Trends to Watch in 2014 and Wearable tech: the future of the quantified self & smart bras [#LeWeb]

Charge up in style

With health trackers and wearable tech gadgets taking off in 2014, many are also attempting to remove its greatest stumbling block – short battery life. To do this, many companies have derived creative ways to charge up on the go. One particular group that is working on the Wearable Solar project, wants to create a range of clothing that is embedded with photovoltaic technology that allows wearers to charge their phone wherever they are. In other words, they want people to become their very own gadget chargers. And as you see in the picture above, they are not only out to create functional and environmentally-friendly products, but also very stylish clothing that can even be modeled on the runway. As Fitbit CEO James Park says during an interview at the LeWeb conference, “there is plenty of room for more wearable companies and products in the market”. We’re excited to see more companies merging good design with fun and practical applications of wearable technology!

Read more: Fitbit CEO: Wearable tech isn’t one size fits all

365 photos in the life of Marcus Møller Bitsch

A photo a day for the lifelogging junkies. A photo a day combined with surreal and magical styles for this young photographer. As a 20 year old freelance photographer from Denmark, Marcus Møller Bitsch decided to spend a year photographing his life in creative manners. He loved the idea of visual diaries and wanted to add his own flavor into this which he had decided to showcase. How would you add your own character while lifelogging? Check out more of his works here for some inspiration!

Read more: 365 photos of a year in the life of Marcus Møller Bitsch

Youtube’s 2013 round up

How was 2013 for you? It surely was a good year for Youtube. As they looked back on their greatest moments this year, they found uncanny similarities across their top videos. With these patterns that they discovered, a team manages to seamlessly integrate it into a mash up of music videos. And they sound pretty good, don’t they? Maybe you should whip out that smart phone of yours and begin weaving your best photos of 2013 to make a compilation like the video above! We hope you have a jolly season ahead and PS: if you’re still out there stressing your way through buying Christmas gifts, here are some ideas with the ultimate wearables gift guide, whether you’re a lifelogging junkie or not.

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This week in lifelogging: selective memory, London lifelogged and Athos muscle tracker

Selective or intentional lifelogging

According to Psychology today: ”Memory often focuses on recent experiences and that focus keeps us grounded in the present. But an emphasis on recent experiences isn’t always what we want.” It is very true, isn’t it? Especially so when life plays its tunes of melancholy. Deep down inside, don’t we wish we could all rewind to that previously upbeat soundtrack of our lives? And that is probably why people, known collectively as the Quantified Self group, have begun journalling their lives on a daily or even hourly basis. As this article aptly describes, we have progressed from live streaming to life streaming, and now to lifelogging. When the Internet first arrived, we craved for live streaming to get up to date with the latest happenings like sports events. Later, as we moved along to Web 2.0, the time-ordered life stream of documents that functions as an electronic diary gave rise to the many social media platforms that we are all familiar with – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. But as we begin to strive to retrieve the parts of our happy memory that goes way back into the past, we are entering into the age of lifelogging. Defined by the wearing of computers in order to capture data about entire or large portion of our lives, is the sole purpose of lifelogging really to defy the natural workings of our memory that tends to focus on recent experiences?

Read more: Choosing my memories and From LiveStreaming to LifeStreaming to LifeLogging — Where are we heading?

Lifelogging in London

With lifelogging comes countless possible ways to present our lives, whether for our own viewing or for our immediate social circles. One of our favourite ways? Arranging the photographs into time-lapse videos. Here is one done by Paul Richardson that we really like! He spent eight full days cycling around with his 22kg of camera gear to find the right light and locations to shoot. In the video above, you would find what was 18,000 photos spanning 364 GB of hard drive space, put together cleverly to show the true 24/7 nature of London city. Beautiful, isn’t it? If you like his work, follow him on Facebook here!

Read more: TED Talk - Peter Doolittle: How your “working memory” makes sense of the world

Athos the muscle tracker

And with all that cycling around London, you could probably begin to imagine the amount of muscles being built up. Turning that imagination into reality, Athos translates your movement to meaning. Every muscle exertion, heart rate and balance is now being recorded by this sleek exercise suit. Athos is really your very own personal trainer that accompanies and stays close to you wherever you go. Using electromyography, or EMG, the sensors on Athos provides access to the physiological processes that allow muscles to produce movement, to stretch and to generate force. This valuable information is then fed in real time to users through the mobile app. The app will also be able to give users more targeted feedback according to the type of exercise being done. Interested in an Athos suit and core hardware? Pre-order them at around US$298 here!

Read more: Backed With $3.5M From Social+Capital, Athos Is Creating Connected Workout Clothing That Tracks Your Muscle Output And More and PulseOn, A Wearable Tech Startup Spun Out Of Nokia, Says It Has The Most Accurate Heart Monitor In The World

Liberation or control with QS

With all that tracking, many do begin to wonder if it in fact liberates or seizes more control over our lives. As Nicholas Carr mentions in his blog, “by extending the collection of data to intimate spheres of personal activity and then centralizing the storage and processing of that data, the net actually seems to be shifting the balance back toward the control function”. This, he argues, is seen from how some companies are outfitting employees with wearable computers and other self-tracking gadgets in order to “gather subtle data about how they move and act” and then use that information to help them do their jobs better. Perhaps, though, this presents a rather microscopic view of the scope of the Quantified Self movement. Many trackers out there track on their own accord. They do not wear self-tracking devices simply because their employers have told them to so that their productivity can be improved. They do it for the betterment of their own lives – their physical health, their emotional well-being and yes, even their productivity because they want to know how to improve. Are you a self-tracker? What do you think of the QS movement?

Read more: The Quantified Self and Taylorization 2.0 and 6 technology trends that will change your family’s health forever

Christmas gift ideas for lifeloggers

If you’re just like Justin Bieber (or a fan of his, for that matter), you would probably agree that Canada is the best country in the world. But it’s not just Justin Bieber who’s bringing fame to this country. Seven Canadian wearable tech companies are also said to be changing the world. These include various lifelogging devices like Hexoskin, Muse and Push. And if you can’t find anything you like on this list, we would definitely recommend number 10 on this list (; Happy holidays!

Read more: Oh Canada! Seven Canadian Wearable Tech Companies Changing the World and Gadget gifts for the holidays

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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

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This week in lifelogging: Memory extinction, Babywatch, Fitbit Force and the variability of time

How old memories fade away

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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?

Read more: How old memories fade away

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.

Read more: With this social baby heartbeat app, the ultra-sharing threshold has been reached

Fitbit Force Review

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.

Read more: Fitbit Force reviewFitbit Force Is the Smartest Fitness Tracker Yet

Time is so variable that the absolute measure of time is almost meaningless.

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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?

Read more: Time doesn’t exist until we invent it

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