Tag Archives: quantified self

This week in lifelogging: together in unity, in wackiness, and in trust

From the quantified self to the quantified us

A huge portion of digital lifelogging done currently is largely intertwined with the Quantified Self movement. This basically means that individuals are taking ownership of the large amounts of data that they produce every single waking (and sleeping) moment, and somehow trying to make sense of it. However, as the saying goes, “no man is an island”, the same goes for the Quantified Self movement and people are slowly working towards what is known as the Quantified Us. As this Wired article points out, the Quantified Us presents a future where self-tracking harnesses a whole population’s data to identify patterns and make meaningful recommendations. One example of this being done can be seen in initiatives like Curious, which is launched by 23andMe’s co-founder. Curious aims to not only provide a place for patients to ask questions, but to collect Quantified Self information from apps and devices that the patients use as well. This serves to attain the next step in wearable technology, which is to provide anticipatory information that is translated into future knowledge. What do you think of the Quantified Us movement?

Read more: Forget the Quantified Self. We Need to Build the Quantified Us and Anticipating Anticipatory Wearables

Image credited to Wired

Wacky creations

ahmad abi

Now if you’re just not that into the entire Quantified Self movement or do not have a life just as fancy as this man who posted a photo of him right from the space station onto Instagram, not to worry! Ahmad El-Abi, an Egyptian photographer, will show you how to have a little fun out of the ordinary everyday life. From sticking yellow rubber ducks in his hair to playing tic-tac-toe with bread and jam during breakfast, Ahmad Abi never fails to cheer up the 34 thousand followers he has on Instagram. As he claims and wittily inspires, “I don’t say I am a photographer but I have some ideas”. Well then, if you have some ideas, how about turning the everyday mundane activities into something as fun and wacky as Ahmad Abi did? Follow him on Instagram or check out more of his wacky photography projects here!

Image credited to Ahmad Abi

Trusting photographers

burrard lucas

And if you’re still taking in from last week how Russian photographer, Katerina Plotnikova, managed to interact so closely with the animal kingdom to capture such surreal pictures, we’re about to introduce one more photographer who will blow your mind away as well. Here’s Will Burrard-Lucas, a professional wildlife photographer from the UK, known for using technology and innovation to photograph wildlife in new ways. In one of his latest projects, Will travelled to the Makgadikgadi Pans region of Botswana to photograph some of the most charismatic (and cutest) creatures in Africa – meerkats. Within just a span of six days, a family of meerkats were so comfortable with Will that they even used his camera as a lookout post for themselves, and had a go at taking a picture themselves. What can we say? We’re certainly always amazed at such intimate interactions between mankind and the animal kingdom!

Read more: Simples! Family of cheeky meerkats try their hand at photography while using the cameraman as a lookout post and Dublin-based photographer shoots stunning timelapse footage of Northern Lights

Image credited to Burrard-Lucas Photography

The human experience

While the human-animal interactions never fail to amaze us, human-human experiences are definitely just as or even more precious. This week, we found a compilation of what is said to be the 60 most powerful photos ever taken that perfectly capture the human experience. Out of these photographs are quiet yet strong depictions of joy, love, despair, curiosity, and everything in between. These emotions deeply connect us with the characters in the photographs and really, put plainly, make us feel all human again. Do you have one of these moments to share?

View more photos here: The 60 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken That Perfectly Capture The Human Experience

Image credited to Patricia Willocq

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This week in lifelogging: on the road, in the womb and way up in the air

Logging the longest walk

If you think lifelogging is uninteresting and pure troublesome, think again. Last week, we shared how Tom Fletcher from McFly combined songwriting and lifelogging to document his wife’s journey through her pregnancy. And this week, we’d like to share with you yet another amazing project that we think you’d love! In the video above, you’d find Christoph Rehage, a man who spent an entire year walking through China by foot. Although his original plan was to walk from China to Germany (!!!), his journey ended after walking for more than 4500km from Beijing to Ürümqi, solely on foot. This film has also won several awards three years in a row, including the 2009 Boulder Adventure Film Festival, 2010 Berlin Webcuts and 2011 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. If you enjoyed this, head over to his Facebook page and check out more of his works like a beautiful time-lapse video of Pisa.

Read more: The longest way

Video credited to The Longest Way 1.0 – walk through China and grow a beard! – TIMELAPSE from Christoph Rehage

From Internet to “Inner-net”

Lifelogging the way Christoph Rehage did can reveal many things that were previously tucked away in the unknown. To delve into the unknown realm of our personal lives, many have also chosen to quantify themselves with various wearable tech gadgets. Here’s introducing Mr. Chris Dancy, who allegedly is the most connected man in the world. According to an interview done between Chris and PSFK, he currently has between 300 to 700 systems that capture data on his life in real time at any given moment. As Chris mentions in the interview, he believes that the future of wearable technology is heading towards the rise of a ‘Human operating system’ or what he calls ‘Existence as a Platform’. In addition, he believes that the biggest thing that the Quantified Self movement will see in the next five years will be these different devices working together and creating lifestyle systems with receipts for goals or outcomes. In his words, “We will leave the ‘Internet’ and create the ‘Inner-net.’ ” Are you ready to embrace the Human OS?

Read more: What the most connected man in the world believes is the future of wearable tech and How wearables became the key tech trend of 2014

Image credited to PSFK

Quantifying before birth

BELLABEAT_PRESS1

And with some people embracing the Human OS mentioned above for their babies through various baby-logging apps, there is also one particular start-up that is eager to get self-tracking started in life that hasn’t even been born into the world. Designed for pregnant ladies, Bellabeat allows moms-to-be to listen to and share their baby’s heartbeat, as well as track their pregnancy using just a handheld gadget and their smartphone. Bellabeat tracks almost everything a pregnant mom-to-be would like to know – countdown till the pregnancy due date, the baby’s heart rate and even their kick counter. It also gives prenatal tips or helps these pregnant moms find prenatal care. With such a comprehensive and targeted use case, the company has managed to sell 2,000 units in just the first two weeks. If you’re a mom-to-be and you’re keen to track your baby’s progress, head over to order your Bellabeat baby monitor now at just $129!

Read more: Hands On With Bellabeat, The App That Lets Moms-To-Be Hear And Share Baby’s Heartbeat and Taking measure of the Quantified Self Movement

Image credited to Bellabeat

From the bird’s eye view

As we explore lifelogging on the road through Christoph Rehage and in the womb through Bellabeat today, here’s Alex MacLean taking us through lifelogging way up in the air in his photography series known as “Aerial Perspectives”. MacLean is a fully licensed pilot and uses his highly efficient Cessna 182 carbon fibre aeroplane to explore the world recording landscapes, architecture and human behaviour from a bird’s eye view. Besides the usual challenges that a professional photographer has to face, MacLean also has to tackle issues such as unpredictable weather, changing lighting conditions, and the plane’s vibration. Yet, with more than 30 years of experience, MacLean has managed to capture many breathtaking aerial views. Check out more of his works here and let it take your breath away!

Read more: What the World Looks Like From the Cockpit and 16 Photos of Unique Perspectives From Mashable Readers

Image credited to Alex MacLean

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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: creative campaigns, quantified breakup and Sony SmartBand

Creative activities for your lifelogs

minnie

One of the indirect benefits of engaging in heavy lifelogging is the new need and want to do creative things. Who doesn’t like to review a colorful life in retrospect? While you can spend money to take your entire family on a fancy vacation to create wonderful memories that you can journal about, you could also try doing some interesting activities at home. Here’s how Angie Keiser and her fashion-forward 4-year-old daughter, Mayhem (above), has done it: gather a few pieces of construction paper, scissors and tape, and you’re all ready to go! With an exception of the more complicated gowns, which can take up to four hours, Keiser and her little daughter work together for an average of 5-10 minutes to make dresses like this one inspired by Minnie Mouse. With this eye for fashion, this mother-daughter duo create many outfits inspired by real-life or cartoon characters, and then this little 4-year-old immediately transforms into a runway model to exhibit the masterpieces she made with her mother. Want to see more interesting outfits? Check out their blog dedicated to Mayhem’s wildly creative gowns, called #FashionByMayhem.

Read more: 4-Year-Old Fashionista Creates Fancy Frocks Out of Paper and 44 Beautiful Candid Moments Captured in Photographs

Image credited to #FashionByMayhem

Creating anti-war messages

One of the many popular projects that have been birthed out of the desire to create lifelogs is “A second a day”, made even easier by an app called One Second Everyday. One particular UK organization, Save The Children, has created an extremely thought-provoking video using this concept of “A second a day”. With a powerful tagline, “Just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening”, Save The Children aims to raise awareness about the situation in Syria, specifically focusing on how children are affected by the civil war. Their vision? “We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfill their potential.” So if you share the same vision and would like to show your support to highlight the desperate need for peace in Syria, you could join their campaign, “Faces for Syria”, by uploading your image here. With that, on the eve of the 3rd anniversary of the conflict in Syria – 14 March – your picture will join thousands of others to form part of an iconic image of support that will reach millions of people around the world, mainly through Facebook and Twitter, to show every Syrian child, woman and man that we are with them, that we are #withSyria.

Read more: Shocking ‘Second a Day’ Video Delivers a Powerful Anti-War Message and Crimea: where war photography was born

Measuring breakups

And if you’re less of a photography/videography person, you might be interested in the quantifying portion of lifelogging. Known as the quantified self movement, enthusiasts would measure everything from their heart rate over the day, their sleeping habits and behavior, and even their babies’ vital signs. But just this week, we discovered one particular Quantified Self enthusiast, who had begun tracking and quantifying her behaviors after her breakup. Things measured include the things bought after the breakup sorted according to price, usefulness and category, the number of posts on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as the number of times she listened to her songs sorted according to whether they were happy or sad songs. According to her, “Putting this process into numbers, images and data visualizations has been very helpful. It yanked me out of moments of all-consuming sadness at the beginning and now helps me understand that I’m doing ok, despite of how confused I might feel (looking for positive trends within the data!) I hope these web things can help you, too.”

Read more: Quantified Breakup and How lifelogging transforms us all

Image credited to the Quantified Breakup blog

Sony Smartband for lifelogging

If you haven’t got all that patience to manually record all that data of breakups or get-togethers, you would probably love to get your hands on some self-tracking device. Apart from the popular FitBit and Nike FuelBand, here’s one that Sony is going to release this month in March 2014, after showing a sneak preview at both CES and the Mobile World Congress that just past. Functions of this Sony SmartBand include creating a log of your activities, such as the places you’ve been to, music you’ve listened, games you’ve played, sleep cycles and so forth, while notifying you of incoming calls, messages and tweets by vibrating. This all-in-one SmartBand can also be used to play, pause and skip track in your walkman app by pressing a button or tapping the band. Multiple functions packed in this tiny wearable gadget by Sony. Rumor has it that these will be retailing at about 99 Euros ($135, £80). In this video review, it is also said that the Sony SmartBand helps you learn from your experiences. With such a comprehensive list of things that you could track, you could even investigate the reasons behind why your timing for the run was particularly good last week, owing all credit to, for instance, the music you’re listening to. Will you get one?

Read more: Sony’s SmartBand Lets You Create a Detailed Log of Your Life and Sony’s SmartBand fitness tracker will launch worldwide in March

Image credited to Mashable

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This week in lifelogging: Winter Olympics, decision-making memories and selfies pride

QS athletes at 2014 Winter Olympics

Since the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics last week in Sochi, Russia, much has been going on, including what seems to be the fiercest rivalry between the US and Canadian hockey women, as well as Jason Brown sensationally figure skating to Prince’s “The Question of U”. And even with such a long-standing tradition and culture behind the Olympic Games, many athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics have already found ways to integrate the latest Quantified Self gadgets into their daily routines. One of them is Steven Nyman, an alpine skier, who couples his endless trainings with the data-driven practices of Troy Flanagan, director of high performance for the US ski team. Self-tracking for Nyman includes measuring his blood glucose, creatine kinase and urea every morning at 5:30am. But of course, on the flip side of this are athletes like Keri Herman and Tom Wallisch, both of whom are Slopestyle Skiers, who do not believe in self-tracking techniques or use wearable tech gadgets of any sort. For instance, to Tom, although Oakley’s new Airwave Smart Goggles, used by skiers to tell where they are on the mountain, altitude, etc. is pretty cool, it only serves as a distraction for him while competing in his events. Which side do you lean on for the Quantified Self movement?

Read more: At this year’s Olympics, the gold medal goes to the quantified self and Winter Olympics Photo of the Day: Skiing in the Sun

Image credited to Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Memories and decisions

Whether it is watching the Winter Olympics on television with your family or actually competing in the Games with thousands of supporters cheering you on, memories are being continuously created for every passing moment without you even noticing it. And if you think you’re having a memory problem just because what you and others recall about a particular incident over the last Winter Olympics is completely different, rest assured, you’re not always wrong. According to latest studies, the human brain edits memories relentlessly, updating the past with new information. And why do our brains do this? Scientists believe that the brain updates memories to make them more relevant and useful now — even if they’re not a true representation of the past. So even if you’re logging your life daily, we will have a tendency to modify these lifelogs to make sense of them ten or twenty years down the road. The good news? These lifelogs will be able to jolt our memories, and our brains could help us sort them automatically so that they’re the most relevant in the present. Better decision-making for the lifelogging individual, maybe?

Read more: Our Brains Rewrite Our Memories, Putting Present In The Past and Lifelogging: What it’s like to record your whole life

Image credited to NPR and iStockphoto

Be proud of your selfies

Speaking of recording our memories, a new trend has been taking the Instagram world by storm. In fact, there are more than 75 million photographs on Instagram marked with this popular hashtag. Yes, you got it – snap it, upload it and finally #selfie. And even after the word “selfie” has been officially incorporated into the Oxford Dictionary, much hatred or mocking have been directed at users who flood their Instagram accounts with nothing but their self-portraits. Yet, earlier, we also talked about how Dove’s selfies project actually revealed the insecurities that these girls possessed, and subsequently got them to see how beautiful they really are. So are #selfies really that detestable? In this article, the author justifies the case for selfies. According to her, there’s no need to be sorry for your selfie because it has been around for a long time. And for the very fact that we can #selfie every day or waking moment of our lives, is indicative of progress, since the selfie barrier to entry is no longer restricted by wealth, time and privilege like it was with the French monarch of the past. #Sorrynotsorry for my #selfie anymore (;

Read more: Why You Should Never Be Sorry for Your Selfie

Image credited to NASA

Be proud of your Narrative Clip selfies

Now case in point. If you have a Narrative Clip and you’re wondering what to do next besides just clipping it to the collar of your shirt, well how about this? How about giving the Narrative Clip #selfie a shot? Letting her creative juices flow, author Bianca Bosker at Huffington Post has experimented various ways to use the Narrative Clip – clipped to her clothes, strapped on her purse, fastened to a dog and propped up on her desk, where it takes numerous selfies of her. And with these selfies, she noticed some bad habits of hers replaying over and over – the nibbling, the lip-biting, the squinting, and of course, the snacking. Yet, we’re stoked to hear how her experience has been. In her words, “The Narrative Clip didn’t just let me “relive life’s special and everyday moments,” as the ad copy on the camera’s sleek box had promised. When I scrolled through the thousands of photos it captured, I had the feeling of discovering entirely new dimensions to an experience I thought I knew. It both jogged my memory and fiddled with it.” Thank you and we can’t wait to hear from more of you!

Read more: Nice To Meet You. I’ve Already Taken Your Picture

Image credited to Huffington Post

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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: Starting the new year right and achieving your new year resolutions with quantified self

Goodbye 2013! Hello 2014!

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2013 was a breakthrough year for fans of wearable gadgets and the quantified self movement. We saw increasing focus in the area of wearable technology and observed several important milestones like Android being now Bluetooth Smart ready, Intel unveiling a chip specifically designed for wearable applications, Samsung introducing a smart watch to accompany its phones,  and Sony even launching the 2nd edition of their smartwatch, just to name a few.

While some may argue that the wearable technology industry is getting saturated, we think the wearable technology industry will grow exponentially in 2014, as companies work to refine their products to provide a better user experience.  With Forbes dubbing 2014 “The Year of Wearable Technology” and increasing focus of wearable technology at CES , we are really excited to see how much wearable technology will impact our lives in 2014!

Do you intend to incorporate wearable gadgets into your life this year? If so, what are you looking to buy? Drop us a comment here!

How The Quantified Life Can Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

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How many times have you set new year resolutions only for it to fall through just a few weeks or months later? We have all been guilty of that. Since this is a new year ( and just a few days into the year), it is not too late to stop this bad habit. Let’s work together to get our resolutions through to 2015!

In this article, the writer argues that the best possible way to achieve our resolutions is to set clear goals for constant improvement – and this can be aided by technology. Rather than relying on fragmented web advice and our own fragile intuition to achieve our new year resolutions, he came up with several tips to help us manage ourselves better. Sounds easy and logical!

To read more on how we can use quantified self to achieve our new year resolutions, hop over to this article! Now, let’s get 2014 rolling!

Read more: Join the quantified self movement for the New Year , How The Quantified Life Can Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Image credited to healthmeup

6 DIGITAL HEALTH RESOLUTIONS FOR 2014

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To aid you in achieving those new year resolutions that we spoke about previously, here are six gadgets and apps that you might like to try out if you think that digital can give you a head start on your health resolutions.

This list covers a good range of devices that will help you to manage your weight and food intake, improve your sleeping habits as well as an app to help you stick to you goal. We think this might be a great starting point.

Read more: 6 Digital Health Resolutions for 2014.      Image credited to GlassHospital

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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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