Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Moblogging and MyLifeBits

November 27th, 2002 · No Comments

Writes Justin Hall (The Feature) on the Mobile Blog:

A weblog is a record of travels on the Web, so a mobile phone log (moblog?) should be a record of travels in the world. Weblogs reflect our lives at our desks, on our computers, referencing mostly other flat pages, links between blocks of text. But mobile blogs should be far richer, fueled by multimedia, more intimate data and far-flung friends. As we chatter and text away, our phones could record and share the parts we choose: a walking, talking, texting, seeing record of our time around town, corrected and augmented by other mobloggers.

If we can protect our privacy and trust data networks, then we might find that some of our daily activities would be enhanced by sharing them, both with our circle of friends around the Web, and the people nearby with like minds. Each of our moblogs, our mobile information profiles and archives, could search people in the area for compatible data. Think of it as a Web search on the real world. The results would be constant, part of conversation, tracked by your moblog.

A wider perspective on this concept comes from New Scientist on a project beng done by Microsoft where “engineers are working on software to load every photo you take, every letter you write – in fact your every memory and experience – into a surrogate brain that never forgets anything.” More:

Microsoft argues that our memories often deceive us: experiences get exaggerated, we muddle the timing of events and simply forget stuff. Much better, says the firm, to junk such unreliable interpretations and instead build a faithful memory on that most reliable of entities, the PC.

Bell and his colleagues developed MyLifeBits as a surrogate brain to solve what they call the “giant shoebox problem”. “In a giant shoebox full of photos, it’s hard to find what you are looking for,” says Microsoft’s Jim Gemmell. Add to this the reels of home movies, videotapes, bundles of letters and documents we file away, and remembering what we have, let alone finding it, becomes a major headache.

Of course the system takes up a huge amount of memory. But Bell’s group calculates that within five years, a 1000-gigabyte hard drive will cost less than $300 – and that is enough to store four hours of video every day for a year.

Although MyLifeBits is essentially a large database, it could gradually become a repository for many of our experiences. Now that many mobile devices contain photomessaging cameras, you could save everyday events onto the system.

Tags: Emerging Technologies

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