Tag Archives: Memoto

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

How old memories fade away


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.


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

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This week in lifelogging: Increased accuracy in self tracking data, finding motivation from within apps, greater family connectivity, greater battery life and Memoto time lapse

Increased accuracy in self-tracking data


If you look at the wearable technology and quantified self market out there, you will no doubt find an overwhelming number of lifelogging applications out there, that will promise to offer you insights into your health. With competition increasing daily with the boom of the quantified self market, we inevitably see many companies striving to outdo each other by promising better accuracy in the user data. A simple quantified self search on Google will bring up countless user reviews providing a comparison of results among the different gadgets. Just check out this user who wore 21 trackers at once, or this man who went on a run with eight trackers. My point is that, with so many choices out there, accuracy is no doubt one of the core differentiating factor when choosing an application or gadget. However, even if you have chosen one, how can you be sure that the data you received is meaningful and accurate? One that is reflective of your environment? In this article, the writer has revealed that the most common mistake that people make when analyzing their self-tracking data is treating it as stationary; that the variables that they track are independent of time, and are affected only by changes in the treatment or routines. However, our health changes in accordance to the weather, our lifestyle and even the time. This writer highlighted three invisible temporal patterns that are likely to be present in your self-tracking data, that if ignored during analysis could lead to counter-productive interpretations. Check this article out to achieve better accuracy in your data! 

Read more: Three Temporal Patterns That May Affect Your Quantified Self Insights

Get connected to your family : Life360


How many of you have gone for days without seeing your family members, just because each of you have such busy schedules? I bet most of us do! As we get increasingly busy with our daily lives with school and work, spending time together or even keeping track of each other seems to be harder than before. Sure, we have social media platforms and messaging services to keep each other updated, but sometimes, it can be really mundane having to constantly text or call to update each other manually. So, what if you have an application that can just do this for you automatically? This is what the Life360 application intend to achieve, by functioning as a family network users use to coordinate their daily lives. Besides offering the standard features like location-tracking, check-in (e.g. the “mom, I’m okay” button), geo-fenced alerts, messaging (both one-to-one and group chat), and the emergency/panic button alerting functionality, Life360 also hope to extend their app and become more integrated into the automative and home security systems. Imagine having your home security systems automatically arming the alarm when it detects that no family members are in the house. Or meeting your sister for a cup of coffee simply because the app detects that she is nearby and send you a push notification. We like how the Life 360 plans to integrate extra features into their app, just to offer a seamless family coordination service. With the recent $3 million strategic backing from BMW, we cant wait to see how this application will develop!

Read more: Life360, A Family Networking App With More Users Than Foursquare

Charge up your phone in 30 seconds

In previous twil blog posts, we have shared extensively on possible solutions to achieving longer battery lives. (Remember the Tespack solar panel or the Ambient Backscatter?) Today, we are here to share an amazing innovation created by Khare, an 18 year old student, who invented a way to fully charge a phone battery in one minute. Why are we so obsessed with battery life? Simply because long battery lives are fundamental in lifelogging. It would be counter-productive to have a lifelogging device shut down in the middle of the day because of a flat battery.  This is such a breakthrough discovery, and we cant wait to see how this can further benefit the wearable technology industry.

Read more: Student invents a way to fully charge a phone battery in one minute

Finding motivation from within Quantified Apps


With so many choices of self-tracking apps out in the market, tracking our data seems easier than before. However, how many of us can safely say that we diligently use the data given to us to further improve ourselves? Or proudly say that we have consistently stuck to a fitness regime or a mobile fitness application? It is easy to get carried away in our quest to be healthier, but harder to stay with it. So, how can we be more disciplined? According to this article, it is simply by finding the application that fits you best – whether you seek intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. Apps and gadgets can help you stick to a fitness regime, but they only take you so far. There are no one best application that will suit everyone. Like the finishing sentence of this article states, “When it comes to fitness, perhaps we are what we do. Our bodies are programmable. We just have to find the app that lets us log into our true selves.”

Read more: How To Find Motivation In The Machinery

Watch a time-lapse made with Memoto photos

To end off your week, check out this time-lapse video of the Sicilian sunset which was compiled together with pictures taken from the Memoto camera. (We´ve blogged about it in our last weekly update, but we thought it is too cool not to post it again!) How did our team member capture such stable shots? Simply by attaching the camera to a wine bottle and letting the camera work its magic! The shots are taken and easily edited into a time-lapse using iMovie. So, in terms of creativity with the Memoto camera, there are no limits to how you can use it and how you can further use the pictures! Some food for thought, before receiving your camera!

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August round-up: This week in lifelogging

Each month we compile a list of all the articles mentioned in our This Week in Lifelogging (TWIL) posts. Check out the archive of our TWIL commentary on these articles! Happy reading.

QS products

Mass Transit Powers…Activate! Sesame Ring Could Replace Your Subway and Bus Pass

Owlet Baby Care Creates the First Wearable Tech for Babies, Sending Heart Rate and Oxygen Levels to a Parent’s Smartphone

A month of wearing the Misfit Shine every day (and night)

Lifelogging: Why Wearable Tech Will Change the Way We Share Our Lives

Bicycle turn signals get the Ben Heck mod treatment

ActiveReplay’s Trace Wants To Bring Quantified Self Tech To Action Sports For Players And Spectators

BioBeats raises celebrity seed funding to turn quantified self data into therapeutic music

Apps that know what you want, before you do

Drunk and chic: meet Lapka BAM, the iPhone of breathalyzers

New E-skin brings wearable tech to the next level

The Rove App Is An Easy Way To Remember Everywhere You’ve Been

More lifelogging, quantified self articles

What is Nostalgia Good For? Quite a Bit, Research Shows

RaceCapture ProRaceCapture Pro Indiegogo Campaign

The Benefits Of A Quantified Self

How mood mapping helped me beat bipolar disorder

4 Reasons Why Curiosity is Important and How to Develop It

Memories Make Your Life Meaningful — Here’s How to Have More of Them

How To Become More Spontaneous or Stop Being Boring

Do health-tracking apps spur risk taking?

Crowdfunding move for lifelogging technology

8 New Jobs People Will Have In 2025

Can Wearable Tech Improve the Music Festival Experience?

Ancient Greeks and the Quantified Self

Lifelogging: The Health-Related Side Effects Of Keeping A Lifelog

Memoto at LAUNCH


Our CEO, Martin Källström, will be a speaker at the LAUNCH Mobile & Wearables conference in San Francisco!

The event is open to 150 attendees and focuses on emerging trends in mobile and wearables. Apart from hosting events like Mobile, LAUNCH hosts a weekly web series and podcast called This week in Startups, sponsors the LAUNCH Fund that is available to startups launching their products at a LAUNCH event and offers co-working space in Los Angeles for startups.

Find out more about LAUNCH and the Mobile event here.

This week in lifelogging: Nostalgia, Biobeats, Trace and Google Now

What is Nostalgia good for?

“I always knew looking back on the tears would make me laugh, but I never knew looking back on the laughs would make me cry.” Cat Stevens

Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 5.17.31 PM

With lifelogging becoming popular in this past year thanks to the introduction of new wearable technology, we are then left to wonder if there is a need to capture our lives in such detail. What do we get out of all these photos and data that we have? While nolstagia can be bittersweet, it has been proven in recent studies to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety. Through sharing nostalgic moments, it makes us happier and our lives more meaningful. Ever felt all warm and fuzzy inside just looking through your pictures? That’s the idea. With lifelogging devices becoming increasingly accessible to everyone, looking back will never be easier. What are some of your favourite moments? Drop us a comment here!

Read more: What is Nostalgia Good For? Quite a Bit, Research Shows

A personal assistant for you?


In a world that is moving faster than ever, keeping track of every single detail in your life is increasingly harder. This is why Google has come up with this new application called “Google Now” to counter this problem. Known as predictive search, Google Now basically act as your personal assistant, anticipating what you need before you ask for it. Imagine looking at your phone and a notification pops up informing you to leave home earlier for your meeting due to bad traffic. The strange thing is that you never even keyed this information into your calendar. How does your phone know? Basically, Google Now has integrated your calendar and email data with the traffic conditions intelligently to figure that you need an extra half hour to drive to work. We think this is great development. However, this might also mean increased intrusion into our lives. What do you think? How then do you keep a fine balance?

Read more: Apps that know what you want, before you do

Biobeats: Making music with your pulse

On the same note of intelligent applications, we think this new application by Biobeats is really cool. The idea behind Biobeats is that people need encouragement to stay engaged with their wellness regimes. So, they developed “PULSE”, an application that feels the pulse of your heart and turns it into music for you. So if you’re running and it detects you need a rest, it can slow down the song. Pretty nifty? We think so too! This concept is termed “Adaptive Media” and we think it might be the future to music and entertainment. Imagine listening to music and watching films that changes and progress according to how we feel. Now, THAT is something. With more wearable technology increasingly producing quantified-self health data, BioBeats will also be device-agnostic, pulling in quantified-self health data from any phone, FitBit, FuelBand, UP, or other sensor willing to work with it. Watch this great video on how PULSE work!

Read more: BioBeats raises celebrity seed funding to turn quantified self data into therapeutic music

Trace: Quantified-Self tech for action sports


If you are a runner or a cyclist , there are all these great tools out there like Fitbit etc to track your mile splits and heart rate etc. However, nothing really exist for action sports. Surfers will talk about the best waves that they caught and skaters talking about their sessions in the park, but there is no way to quantify that data. That is why ActiveReplay has come up with this new device called “Trace” to make your action sports measurable, shareable and comparable. To use it, simply attach it on your equipment and go. It will then capture data such as speed, distance, jump height and rotation etc. This application not only collect your data and give you a history you can check at any time for self improvement, but also allows you to share that info with other athletes in your field. We think this product is a great tool for self-improvement. What do you think?

Read more: ActiveReplay’s Trace Wants To Bring Quantified Self Tech To Action Sports For Players And Spectators

Riding safe with wearable tech











On another note, wearable technology takes a new form in the latest episode of The Ben Heck Show, the first collaborative engineering community for design engineers and technology enthusiasts. His newest take is on the bicycle turn indicator. Using a battery-powered backpack with mounted LED lights that blink for 20 seconds in the form of arrows, wearers can then deploy left or right signals by either turning their heads in the respective directions or by switching the switches on with their chin. Although this is just a project, we think it can be converted into a real product to aid safer riding among cyclists. Will you use it?

Read more: Bicycle turn signals get the Ben Heck mod treatment

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

This week in lifelogging: baby-logging, creating moments and shaping up with QS

Capturing life’s precious moments: baby-logging

“I’d trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday.” ― Kris Kristofferson

Last week, we talked about capturing life’s precious moments and it was such a huge hit! So we thought, why don’t we follow up and explore the various events in which we can use the Memoto Camera. After all, for all you out there who have purchased a Memoto Camera (thanks again for your awesome support!), it’s always great to have even more occasions to use your Memoto Camera. (Not that you need any more reasons, really).

This week, we looked at baby-logging and we saw how proud and eager parents wanted to document their babies’ every move since they grow up so fast. But for some of us, parents or those who’ve had experience with kids, we know it can be a pretty messy affair! So we figured that the Memoto Camera would be such a great tool to have; It’s fuss-free, lightweight and you will get snapshots of your baby synced seamlessly to your computer. The sturdy tension clip also secures the camera well. Do you have experience with baby logging? We would LOVE to hear from you! Drop us a comment and we will be sure to get back to you.

Read more: Project 365: How to take a picture a day and see your life in a whole new way

Being present: creating moments and memories


“We’re so distracted, we’re missing our own lives. The parent who records his kid’s dance recital or first steps or graduation is so busy trying to capture the moment – to create a thing that proves they were there – they miss out on actually living and enjoying the moment.” ― Dave Bruno

Do you have a love/hate relationship with photography? Have you ever been torn between taking pictures and wanting to just soak in the moment and interacting with the people you encounter? Have you ever left a place with beautiful photos but virtually no memories of that place nor pictures of that particular special moment? Sometimes, it is such a struggle to be present when you are focusing on framing a shot or adjusting the shutter speed of your camera. Do you face the same problem? How do you balance between taking pictures and creating moments? Let us know how you do it in the comments!

Read more: I have a love-hate relationship with photography: Michael Katakis

Mindful photography creates a happier you

On the same note of living in the present, did you know that in mindful photography, researchers have suggested that participants should emphasize on thinking about the things in life that bring happiness or joy as they take photographs of their everyday life. This has a ripple effect on the way you live, and often times, it leads to a happier you, a phenomenon known as positive psychology. And if you need a tool to precisely document the things in life that bring you happiness or joy, check out the Revolve Automated Motion: Motorized Camera Dolly / Slider, which transforms any normal camera slider into a motorized slider with fully automatic movement. Pretty awesome, we feel!

Read more: Mindful Photography May Help Increase Wellness, According To Positive Psychology and Mindfulness in Photography

Shaping up with the quantified self

The quantified self movement has a direct correlation to how people are becoming increasingly concerned with and are tracking their overall well-being to make improvements. Therefore it excites us to see how it has gone beyond the individuals themselves, with corporations starting to embrace it as well! This week, Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer handed out more than 11,000 Jawbone UP fitness bands to help employees stay fit. Even if this move has to do with her sitting on the Jawbone board or truly wanting to improve employees’ well-being, we think that this is great initiative! Happier employees = better productivity = win-win for all, isn’t it? And if you’re not satisfied with the Jawbone UP because you’re a serious athlete who wants to go beyond merely tracking your movement or sleep, check out Electrozyme, a biosensor temporary tattoo that tracks your sweat to gauge physical exhaustion. Shape it up this weekend!

Read more: Marissa Mayer Is Handing Out More Than 11,000 Jawbone UP Fitness Bands To Help Yahoo Employees Stay In Shape and Biosensor tattoo monitors sweat to gauge physical exertion

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

This week in lifelogging: capturing life’s precious moments, quantifiying with Human and complete rest with iwaku

Capturing life’s precious moments

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” Karl Lagerfeld

richard deitsch best moments tweet

It’s difficult to disagree with the quote above, isn’t it? This week, Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch sent out a tweet that read, “How many of you have a photograph of the single best moment of your life? If so, what a gift.” The responses he got? Truly heartwarming. For us at Memoto, one of our best moments thus far has to be when we passed our Kickstarter goal (below), indicating that we were this much closer to achieving our dream of developing a device so that every one can remember life’s precious moments while living in the moment. Have you got a best moment to share? Let us know in the comments below!

The Memoto team celebrating the passing of the project’s goal: $50,0000.

Read more: 30 Photos That Capture the Best Moments of People’s Lives

It’s time to include the photographers

If you’ve been logging your life with photographs, digging up photo albums and reminiscing about the good old times spent with your loved ones is definitely an enjoyable thing to do. Picture perfect, you think. And then you think again. Oh wait, there’s someone missing in these pictures. There’s ALWAYS someone missing. And if you had a complete group picture, then you probably remember the sore arms you got while extending your arm to fit every one into the tiny little iPhone frame… After multiple attempts, of course. Today, we’re glad to share this new mobile application, Groopic, which guarantees a complete group shot, just the way you like it.

Read more: Groopic For iPhone Mashes Up Group Photos To Include The Missing Photographers

Human-ize the quantified self movement

Lifelogging and the quantified self movement have been prominent amongst athletes, tech geeks and extreme enthusiasts for decades. However, increasingly, we see the sprouting up of many new products and services that have made it easier for every one, regardless of age or background, to participate in the self-tracking movement should they wish to. One such service that we want to introduce is Human, whose vision is to make the quantified self trend accessible to the mainstream. And what does Human do? Human simply tracks your movements to help you achieve the goal of continuous movement for 30 minutes each day, every day. Curious? You could sign up for a beta version of the app here.

Read more: Stealth fitness startup Human wants to make the quantified self mainstream and Tell me EVERYTHING about you: What’s next in Quantified Self?

Charge up on the go!

Earlier, we introduced the Power Pocket, which allows for the conversion of kinetic energy to electrical energy. However, it seems that the problem of short battery life on lifelogging and other mobile devices has spurred even more companies to constantly think of solutions to this recurring problem. This week, we found a Finnish company, Tespack, who is working towards the creation of electrical energy from solar energy in everyday products such as backpacks and clothings. A greener environment and fully charged tech devices. We say, why not?

Beat the winter woes

There are many products on the market for people who have trouble waking up during the terribly dark winter mornings. These include the Philips Wake-up Light, designed to imitate nature’s sunrise so that one has a more pleasant waking up experience. If you’re not satisfied by what is currently offered in the market, several Dutch entrepreneurs came together to design a new device known as Iwaku to provide a more holistic wake-up light. Iwaku, with a slightly Japanese twist to “I wake you”, is a wirelessly-controlled device that pairs with your existing sleep cycle apps. The end goal of Iwaku is to wake you up gradually during your light sleep phase so you feel completely rested.

Read more: iwaku Is A Connected Wake-Up Light That Can Sync With Sleep Cycle Apps To Rise You Right

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

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?

Tell your most complete story with Lifelogging

By: Kitty Ireland, guest blogger


Lifelogging is the process of capturing the idiosyncratic personal data that makes up a life, whether it’s expressed as an automatic photo log, as with Memoto, or as health and fitness data from a wearable device, or as a record of all of the places you go in your daily travels. It’s what we do to remember, to reminisce, to measure, and possibly to change the tracks of our lives.

Most everyone tracks something. If you track your spending, or the items crossed off of your to-do list, you’re lifelogging. If you update Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, you’re lifelogging. And whether they know it or not, most people with mobile phones are logging large amounts of data about where they go and what they do, at all times.

What can one person do to make sense of all of these disparate data streams? Is there meaning to be found when you look at all of the details of your life under a single lens? Corporations are scrambling to make a profit from “big data,” but there’s intrinsic, personal value to be had as well. A lifelog can become a remarkably honest and beautiful autobiography.

Going from terabytes of ones and zeroes to a coherent life story isn’t an simple proposition. Memoto applies innovative intelligence to identify meaningful moments from thousands of pieces of visual data recorded daily. To take a single thread – like a photo diary – and weave it into a personal narrative requires the right kind of glue: context.


Context can mean many things: where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, the weather, your mood, your sudden craving for pickled herring. A truly meaningful lifelog uses as much context as possible, to tell the most complete story.

As lifelogging becomes ubiquitous, and technology advances to record more and more of our lives, understanding context will be the key to distinguishing the signal from the noise. This is why it’s so exciting to be working on an app like Saga. We’re doing more than simply recording location, and how you get from point A to point B.

There are a few methods we use to understand the whole story. There’s more about location data than GPS coordinates, and understanding not only where you are but also the kind of place it is – and how often you visit places like this – provides one piece of the puzzle. Other clues come from sensors in your smartphone or on your body, such as a BodyMedia armband. We can understand your routine and notice when you break out of your routine. We bring in third party data to add external conditions like hyper-local weather and traffic.

When you combine all of these inputs you begin to get a sense of context. Not only can you remember the name of that café on the Boulevard Saint Germaine, but you can remember your mood, how far you walked to get there, the moment it started raining, the book you were reading, how long you stayed, the bridge you stopped on after you left, all without writing anything in your Moleskine.

One day, I hope, it will be effortless to funnel all of my personal data into a contextual, meaningful lifelog.  For now, I have Saga to cover most of the bases by keeping track of my travels and logging data from many of the other services I use.  

About the author:


Kitty Ireland is Data Curator and outreach manager at A.R.O., Inc. in Seattle, WA. A.R.O. builds apps that help users lead happier, healthier, and generally more amazing lives, including Saga: the lifelogging app for everyone.

This week in lifelogging: mobility with wearable tech, QS with Foursquare and memories during sleep

Free yourself with wearable tech


If you ask us to define the purpose of wearable tech, our first instinct is to say that it exists to free us from the struggle finding ways to improve certain aspects of our lives without impeding them, and the desire to document what happens around us and even within us. Yet this week, we discovered that wearable tech means more than that. Wearable tech means building a sort of balanced ecosystem with the gadgets that serve to enrich our lives. In the eyes of the mobile phone company Vodafone and University of Southampton, this means making use of the energy that our bodies produce to generate electricity to charge our mobile phones or gadgets. Currently, the kinetic and thermoelectric technology can be harnessed through two products: The Power Shorts and The Recharge Sleeping Bag. And if you worry about wear and tear in these products, you could even use Bare Paint, developed by graduates from the London’s Royal College of Art, to draw up electric circuits. All you have to do is move it to charge it!

Read more: The shorts and sleeping bag that mean you’ll never run out of mobile battery again – because they’re powered by your body heat and Cool Tech: Liquid Wiring On Paper, Walls And More, Thanks to Conductive Paint

On the move with wearable tech

And if mobility is one of the key reasons why you don wearable tech devices, this upcoming product might excite you just as much. A Russian startup, LiveMap, is working on an Iron Man helmet – a motorcycle helmet that has a built-in navigation system that accepts voice commands.  Check out their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign here!

Read more: Wearable Technology: LiveMap Working On Iron Man Motorcycle Helmet

Quantifying on the go with Foursquare

foursquare time machine demo

Now if you’ve been getting around a lot on your motorcycle or just donning the Power Shorts and running around to generate more electrical energy for charging your devices, remember to check-in on your Foursquare account because Foursquare just got better. For the love of the quantified self, Foursquare has introduced the Foursquare Time Machine to let you view all your past check-ins on a beautiful visualization that you see in the picture above. You could even share this with your loved ones to let them know of your favorite cafes or hangout zones. This move by Foursquare surely helps us to help others understand us better. Maybe the quantified self movement is becoming the quantified us movement? Stay tuned!

Read more: Foursquare Time Machine Teleports You Down Memory Lane

Sleep and memory

With all that moving around, we now touch upon an extremely important topic in lifelogging – sleep. Yes, you heard us right. Sleep is as important in lifelogging as being active and archiving the things you do. Sleep has been shown to be key in consolidating our memories. While we can rely on all kinds of devices to help us remember every moment, the primary lifelogging device is still our brain’s ability to retain precious memories. We all know how important sleep is in restoring our bodies and some even use sleeping pills in order to get that good rest that we deserve. However, the latest studies have shown that the commonly prescribed sleeping aid (known as Ambien), though effective in helping us sleep, heightens the recollection of and response to negative memories. Better to think twice before we pop that next pill, maybe?

Read more: Ambien Can Improve Your Recall, But Only For Unhappy Memories and Sleep Mechanism Identified That Plays Role in Emotional Memory

Time-lapse video: Existence

Putting all that research about negative memories aside, we love how time-lapse videos simply remind us of how beautiful life is. We came across this one (above) earlier this week and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Have a great weekend and we wish all fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

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