Wearable camera encourages owners to record entire lives
A wearable camera designed to take a picture every 30 seconds, to allow owners to record their daily lives, has become the latest technogical hit on Kickstarter, the "crowd funding" website.
So far, Memoto, billed as "the world's smallest wearbale camera" has attracted more than $44,000 of its $50,000 funding target from more than 250 gadget fans keen to capture a digital record of their entire lives.
The tiny device is designed to be clipped to clothes or worn on a necklace. As well as a five megapixel digital camera, it will feature a GPS chip to keep track of owners' locations and automatically log and organise pictures via a specially-created iPhone and Android apps. Memoto claims the battery will last two days.
"Many fantastic and special moments become blurred together after a while and it feels like life just rushes by, too fast for us to grasp," said the Swedish start-up behind the project.
"We at Memoto wanted to find a way to relive more of our lives in the future - and enjoy the present as it happens."
Memoto describes the project as "lifelogging" technology and plans to ship its first finished cameras in February next year.
It is part of a trend dubbed the "Quantified Self Movement", proponents of which aim to record as much data as possible about their lives. They have adopted other products including the Nike+ FuelBand and Fitbit tracker, both of which keep tabs on wearers' exercise patterns, as well as smartphone apps to track heart rate other health data.
"The camera and the app work together to give you pictures of every single moment of your life, complete with information on when you took it and where you were," said Memoto. "This means that you can revisit any moment of your past."
The apps the firm is developing are designed to help deal with the glut of images the capture will take by helping organise them and pick out interesting moments.
"The way this works is that the photos are organized into groups of "moments" on a timeline," said Memote.
"On the timeline, you're presented with keyframes (about 30 per day) each representing one moment. You can tap a moment to relive it in a stop-motion like video of all the pictures in that moment."
"This enables you to not only browse your life the way you remember it, but to search for specific events of your life: who was it that you met at that party or what did the sunset looked like in Lapland in June?"
Critics of the Quantified Self Movement argue that, as well as being narcissistic, it makes people live for technology rather than use technology to help them live. The German writer Juli Zeh reportedly described it as "self-empowerment by self-enslavement".
Others have also raised concerns about privacy, but Memoto said its product would have strict controls and encouraged owners to exerciee restraint.
"If someone asks you not to use your Memoto camera - then please don’t," it said.
"If someone doesn’t explicitly ask you, but you have reason to believe that the place or the context is inappropriate for photographing - then please don’t."