A lifelog is a detailed chronicle of a person's life involving large amounts of data. In recent years the data is usually captured automatically by wearable technology or mobile devices. People who keep lifelogs about themselves are known as lifeloggers (or sometimes lifebloggers or lifegloggers).
Perhaps the first, and probably the most extreme, lifelogger was Robert Shields, who manually recorded 25 years of his life from 1972 to 1997 at 5-minute intervals. The resulting 37-million word diary is thought to be the longest ever written.
Perhaps the first person to capture continuous physiological data together with live first-person video from a wearable camera, was Steve Mann whose experiments with wearable computing and streaming video in the early 1980s led to Wearable Wireless Webcam. Starting in 1994, Mann continuously transmitted his everyday life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and his 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.
Jennifer Ringley's JenniCam (1996–2003) was followed by collegeboyslive.tv (still running/NSFW)(1998–present). That same year, the streaming of live video from the University of Toronto became a social networking phenomenon.
Lisa Batey and HereAndNow.net started streaming 24/7 in 1999, continuing into 2001. "We Live In Public" was a 24/7 Internet conceptual art experiment created by Josh Harris in December 1999. With a format similar to TV's Big Brother, Harris placed tapped telephones, microphones and 32 robotic cameras in the home he shared with his girlfriend, Tanya Corrin. Viewers talked to Harris and Corrin in the site's chatroom. Others on camera included New York artists Alex Arcadia and Alfredo Martinez, as well as =JUDGECAL= and Shannon from pseudo.com fame. Harris recently launched the online live video platform, Operator 11.
DotComGuy arrived in 2000, and the following year, the Seeing-Eye-People Project combined live streaming with social networking to assist the visually challenged. After Joi Ito's Moblog (2002), web publishing from a mobile device, came Gordon Bell's MyLifeBits (2004), an experiment in digital storage of a person's lifetime, including full-text search, text/audio annotations and hyperlinks. Social networking took a quantum leap in 2006 with live webcam feeds on Stickam.
In 2003, a project called LifeLog was started at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under Douglas Gage. Lifelogging was going to be achieved by combining several technologies to record the activities of life to create a life diary. Shortly after, the notion of lifelogging was identified as a technology and cultural practice that could be exploited by governments, businesses or militaries through surveillance. . The DARPA lifelogging project was cancelled by 2004, but this project helped to popularize the idea and usage of the term lifelogging in everyday discourse. It contributed to the growing acceptance of using technology for augmented memory.
In 2004, conceptual media artist Alberto Frigo began tracking everything his right (dominant) hand has used, then began adding different tracking and documentation projects. His tracking is done manually rather than using technology.
In 2004 Arin Crumley and Susan Buice met online and began a relationship. They decided to forgo verbal communication during the initial courtship and instead spoke to each other via written notes, sketches, video clips and Myspace. They went on to create an autobiographical film about it called Four Eyed Monsters. It was part documentary, part narrative with a few scripted elements added. " They went on to produce 13 podcasts about the making of the film in order to promote it.
The sub-filed of computer vision that processes and analyses visual data captured by a wearable camera is called Egocentric vision.
Recent years with the advent of smartphones and other pervasive devices the paradigm of life logging extended to ubiquitous devices. For instance UbiqLog and Experience Explorer employ mobile sensing to perform life logging. While other lifelogging devices, like the Autographer, use a combination of visual sensors and GPS tracking to simultaneously document where you are and what you see. Lifelogging was popularized by mobile app Foursquare, which had users check-in as a way of sharing and saving their location, and later evolved into the popular lifelogging app, Swarm.
Life caching refers to a social act of storing and sharing one's life events in an open and public forum. Modern life caching is considered a form of social networking and typically takes place on the internet. The term was introduced in 2005 by trendwatching.com, in a report that says that it had yet to occur but could potentially due to available technology. However, life log information is privacy sensitive, and sharing such information is associated with different risks.
Mobile and wearable apps
To assist in their efforts of tracking, some lifeloggers use mobile devices and apps. Utilizing the GPS and motion processors of digital devices enables lifelogging apps to easily record metadata related to daily activities. A myriad of lifelogging apps are available in the App Store (iOS), Google Play and other app distribution platforms, but some commonly cited apps include: Instant, Reporter, Journey, Path, Moves, and HeyDay., insight for Wear (smartwatch)
Swarm is a lifelogging app that motivates users to check-in and hold on to every place they’ve visited, while inspiring them to visit new places.
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