What sounds like the stuff of reality television or state surveillance is actually a hobby – lifelogging. In Wikipedia’s summary: “capturing continuous physiological data together with live first-person video from a wearable camera“.
The term was coined over a decade ago, but its popularity is growing, in part thanks to what the New Scientist, which has devoted a special series to the subject, calls “an explosion in tools to record our everyday lives”.
Critics dismiss lifelogging as “navel-gazing or control freakery”, notes the NS. But it has nevertheless “evolved from the preserve of obsessives” – fitness obsessives, chiefly – to “a pursuit for enthusiasts”.
The means to record and catalogue has been around for a while. The breakthrough is in accessing the stored information. “Sophisticated new tools are on the way. The ability to sort memories by mood, for example, could help us analyse past experiences in order to lead more fulfilled lives.”
Cathal Gurrin, of Dublin City University’s “Human Media Group”, says it’s all about ranking the data. He tells the magazine lifeloggers of the future will likely wear headsets equipped with “brainwave sensors” to prioritise memories.
“A spike due to excitement in a certain part of the brain,” he says, “could then be logged alongside the video to infer its importance level.”
Mashable lists the best lifelogging apps here.