Total recall: Data diaries explain who you really are

January 4, 2011 | Source: NewScientist Opinion

Gordon Bell (photo: Dan Tufts)

Gordon Bell‘s vision for the future is of software that will let you sort and sift through your digital memories to uncover patterns you would never have gleaned unaided.

You will need lifelogging hardware: a discreet camera permanently slung around your neck that can take photos at regular intervals, and a GPS device to record where you are at any time. Your phone calls, conversations and meetings will need to be digitally captured, all your emails stored, and every web page you look at downloaded. Then you will need to scan in any paper documents that head your way and refuse any books unless they are available on an e-reader.

Work, leisure and spending habits, the pattern of emotional response in various situations and around certain people, the numerous subtle factors affecting your mental well-being and physical health — just about anything you care to know about yourself — can be chronicled, condensed, cross-correlated and plotted out.