Lifelogging Group Page

Topic

Lifelogging is the capture, storage and distribution of
everyday experiences and information for objects and
people. In lifelogging, augmentation technologies record and
report the intimate states and life histories of objects
and users, in support of object- and self-memory,
observation, communication, and behavior modeling.


History

The first person to do lifelogging, or in this context, to capture continuous physiological data together with live first-person video from a wearable camera, was Steve Mann. Mann's experiments with wearable computing and streaming video in the early 80s led to Wearable wireless webcame. in 1994, Mann continuously transmitted his everyday life for 24/7. Tis site grew in popularity, becoming Cool Site of the Day on February 17, 1995. Using a wearable camera and wearable display, he invited others to both see what he was looking at, over the Web, as well as send him live feeds or messages in real time. In 1998 Mann started a community of lifeloggers (also known as lifebloggers or lifegloggers) which has grown to more than 20,000 members.

Throughout the 1990s Mann presented this work to the U.S. Army, with two visits to US Natick Army Research Labs, as well as a formal invited talk.

What Platforms do it Run on?

Cellphones, computers, cameras

Origin/History

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The concept of lifelogging, or documenting a person’s life using a computer or camera, began with Steve Mann whom wanted to capture continuous physiological data paired with a live video feed. After conducting many studies in the 1980s with wearable computers and streaming video, he went on to continuously transmit his daily life all day, every day. Mann presented his work to the U.S. Army throughout the 1990s. This may have led to the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) LifeLog conducted in the military through 2004. The DARPA LifeLog aimed to trace the ‘threads’ of an individual’s life in terms of events, states, and relationships.

Today's version

In recent years, smartphones and the ease to access a computer and a webcam has vastly increased the amount of “lifeloggers” as people now record themselves playing games (Twitch.tv), talking to a viewer indirectly (YouTube), and gives way to third-hand news outlets with witness recordings. Lifelogging is not only subjected to the video medium however as Twitter and many blogs give a text view to the actions and thoughts of a person. This may be seen in short, one sentence “status updates” on Facebook and Twitter or may be entire essays and journals written to explain one’s day.

Analysis

According to Sellen and Whittaker in their paper "Beyond Total Capture: A Constructive Critique of Lifelogging," lifelogging is exceedingly good at creating a personal digital archive. It is used primarily to post one's own content either for oneself or for others to look at. LiveJournal, for instance, is an online diary service that can be set to private or public. Facebook, on the other hand, is made entirely to show others what you are up to.

Strengths

  1. Most life logging tools are extremely intuitive. They have simple tools to appeal to and draw as large an audience as possible. Without users, life logging tools generate no content.
  2. Life logging tools have low barriers to entry. The vast majority of them are free and only require a valid email address to access. Some have a "premium" service, but the free version is usually fully functional.
  3. Content is entirely user generated. Life logging tools are just that: tools. They give the users the means to create content be it videos, status updates, or pictures.
  4. Life logging tools do not need to update their toolset very often. Twitter has remained largely unchanged in the past few years. Facebook undergoes changes a few times a year. Virtual worlds (like MMOs) have to create new content on a much more frequent basis
  5. From a business standpoint, having content as entirely user generated is cheap and requires little investment in manpower other than moderators and technical support.
  6. Allows us to store vast amounts of data (usually for free) and catalog it in a personalized way

Challenges

  1. Life logging tools require a lot of grassroots marketing and momentum in order to get off the ground. Without sufficient groundswell, there will be no user base, no content generated, and no business.
  2. Sometimes full functionality can be cut off by a pay gate or inconveniences, like ads, are added in order to generate revenue. When all content is user generated, ads are the easiest way to generate revenue.
  3. Reaching out to the widest audience possible also brings in people and interests on the periphery. Reddit, for example, has subreddits (posting boards) for just about everything from science to drugs and politics to pornography. Allowing too much freedom to a user base may bring in people and interest groups your business may not want to associate with. (Ex. Anderson Cooper on inappropriate subreddits)
  4. One user base can overshadow any other users and drive them away from a life logging service. A prime example is Myspace. Myspace was initially the precursor to Facebook , but is now used exclusively for music and musicians.
  5. Security risks when storing personal data online. (e.g. Celebrities and other personages of importance having their Facebook and Twitter hacked)

Future

People have adopted life logging rapidly through Facebook, Twitter, smartphones and so on. They makes it is easy to chronicle all sorts of aspects of people’s life. In the future, a special appliance like a body mainframe based on smartphones with all the devices connected to them will help people hold data and to do post processing much easier and quicker than now. Google invented Google Glass that can capture everything a user sees whenever he/she wants. And Samsung just put out Smart Watch that can simply log his/her health by taking pulse, measuring temperature and recording the quality of sleep. Those wearable devices will record all kind of details of life. There are a billion shallow life loggers who comment and tweet about their life. But, with those future appliances, life loggers will be increased even more.

Case Studies

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