Tag Archives: Thad Starner

What’s Gordon Bell betting on?

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

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

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

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

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

A BET

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

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

Republished with permission of the author.

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

So San Francisco!

Busy week

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Monday

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

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

        Tuesday

          Brian Kerr

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

              Wednesday

                Trōv

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

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

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                    Memolane

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

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

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

                          Google-goodies & Facebook fail

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

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

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                              Friday

                                Maren Connary

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

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                                    Karen Herzog and Richard Sachs

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

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