Narrative Clip, Life Logging and Quantified Self
For a number of years I have been interested in the idea of the quantified self movement and collecting data about myself and my life, ideally with the aim of using it to make improvements but to be truthful I was just pleased it was being captured even if it never got used.
I think my interest in this area started with Fitbit when they first announced their activity tracking device, after waiting for what seemed like years I ended up paying a US company to buy me one and ship it over to the UK. This was great but after 12 months I ended up losing it, thankfully Fitbit were really great and replaced it free of charge but I then lost the second one after only a few months. Every time I took something out a pocket I ran the risk of knocking it off so I gave up on this idea only to start again some time later when they announced the Fitbit flex which is worn on the wrist.
During this time I also started looking into location tracking and ended up using Google Latitude quite heavily. This was an opt in service which would constantly record your location and share it with whoever you chose, they also had an API which allowed me to do interesting (probably not that interesting) things with the data. I ended up building a web service which would aggregate location data from Latitude, Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook, and Twitter storing it all in a single normalised database.
This was really fun and I used it for quite some time, it only got shut down when I moved hosting company and didn't set it up again, the data probably still exist in an Amazon SimpleDB somewhere.
Like the Fitbit I never did anything with it but it felt good capturing this information.
About 5 years ago I first came across the SenseCam from Microsoft Research, this was a camera worn around the neck and captured images based on changes in the environment, i.e. movement. One of the main aims was research surrounding memory loss, could someone be helped by reviewing images of their day. The results from these trials were successful and I believe this device is still used today for similar studies.
The SenseCam eventually became the Autographer, this is basically the same but its smaller and aimed at the general public. This was released for sale sometime during 2013, many months after I had discovered and backed the Memoto camera towards the end of 2012.
The Memoto eventually renamed the Narrative Clip is a life logging camera, much like the SenseCam I had eagerly followed years before. The Narrative device does roughly the same thing as the SenseCam but it doesn't include a temperature or pir sensor it simply takes a picture every 30 seconds, the pictures are then grouped into "moments" for you to relive on your phone.
I have now had the Narrative for just over 24 hours and I am really looking forward to making this part of my life, even if I never use the photos I am happy that they are being captured!
An added bonus of the Narrative is that it also tags the images with location data and with the impending launch of the API I am looking forward to building version two of my location database, but this time I may be able to make use of some of the data to start automating other things in my life.