Oct 232012

MemotoTake a look at Memoto. A long look as this may just be a game-changer.

Lifelogging has been around for some time – at least two decades if you look at the work Steve Mann with his “wearable computer” and “reality mediator” inventions. I remember watching Mann walk through the streets of Florence, Italy in the early 90′s and thinking this is just too cumbersome to be practical. But you knew the technology would shrink and with the advent of Smart phones and the pending Google Project Glass, we’ve gone from chest-mounted cameras and batteries to the latest innovation that may put lifelogging firmly on the map – Memoto’s lifelogging camera.

Memoto is a Swedish company and their new product is an incredibly small and beautiful camera (think Apple here) that you wear around your neck or clip on your shirt or blouse. The device is postage-stamp size and drop-dead simple:

The Memoto device measures 36x36x9mm and contains a five-megapixel camera, a GPS unit, an accelerometer and 8GB of storage – enough for two days’ worth of photos, seeing as the device takes a photo every 30 seconds. It will cost $279, or nothing for early backers who give $199 or more.

The user will need to hook the device up to their computer every couple of days, both to upload the photos and recharge the battery. The photos will go onto Memoto’s servers and be made accessible for time-lapse-style playback through Smartphone apps. (Gigaom)

They launched the project on Kickstarter today and reached their $50,000 goal in five hours. At this point, they’re over $131,000 with 37 days to go. And they’ve stretched the goal to $150,000 and will allow backers to crowdsource the color of one of the models. $199 now gets you one when it comes out at a serious discount to the retail cost.

On one level, this kind of stuff might freak you out; but on the other hand, it is deeply fascinating. Every moment of one’s life can be recorded, and paradoxically, your own life will be embedded as the recorded moments in the lives of others. The very fact that you wear the device, that it’s designed to face outward, to record without a conscious decision makes it entirely different than the pocket camera (or the now ubiquitous ones in our Smart phones). In truth, this is much more than a miniature camera and an App.

It’s a game-changer.

And yes, I put my money in so I’m a backer. Here’s the nicely done video from Memoto on the device and the possibilities of lifelogging:

And here’s an overview of Steve Mann’s cameras over the years. Looking at Mann’s devices, you can see how far we’ve come in the past few decades. But this is only the beginning. I have no idea what lies at the end of this road from a social or cultural perspective but Memoto is opening the door to an entirely new way of seeing and relating to your own life and the lives of those around you. Fascinating.

Steve Mann - wearable computers over three decades

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