I recently wrote about a Gordon Bell story in Wired this month and now Business Week ran one on him as well in advance of his upcoming book release titled Total Recall which covers the story of his “Lifelogging” project. For the last 10 years Gordon has used an assortment of devices to digitally record and store data across various aspects of his life including video, audio, and numerous documents. While we currently are aggregating data across social media sites to a central location, Gordon expands the concept to tracking personal data such as eating and workouts.
From the story
One goal for the early lifeloggers is to track and optimize performance, from the bottom line to the waistline. Bell, who has undergone two heart bypass operations, has analyzed his own data to draw correlations between his diet, exercise, and symptoms of angina—and to fine-tune his regime. Esther Dyson, a technology commentator (and an Evernote board member), predicts that markets will open for software to “extract order and meaning from the chaos of proliferating data.”
The article also mentions a device by Zeo that provides the ability to capture our sleep patterns and has a slideshow of various Lifelogging gadgets to help record other activities and provides much more detail into Gordon’s project. You can read the full story here.
TechCrunch ran a story on the SenseCam which was the primary device used by Gordon to do his Lifelogging. They talk about how this type of device is coming in our near future even citing a startup that should have one ready by 2010. The story continues on how they will become fashion statements and become as ubiquitous as a wristwatch. As is the case with any form of Lifestreaming such as this, they rightfully discuss that the biggest challenges to adoption will be due to privacy concerns, but point to how our behaviors have changed with this as of late in the age of Facebook and Twitter.
Interestingly enough, Wired’s cover two issues ago was titled “Living by Numbers”. In it they had several stories about tracking our personal data across the areas of health, nutrition, and exercise to help optimize our lives. I recommend reading these articles as they provide detailed information on how this is happening today and the benefits gained.
I continue to see new devices and services to track this type of information such as Nike + and Garmin Connect. Below are two examples of these services used by Sean Percival and Micah Baldwin. The ability to analyze data to glean patterns and other important information to improve our lives is definitely appealing and soon to become another niche area in the evolution of Lifestreaming that can clearly show value to those willing to record and analyze it.
Image from Nike + run by Sean Percival
Image from Wii Fit workout on Garmin Connect by Micah Baldwin