We collect and store our thoughts, ideas and experiences and then go on to share them with others on the World Wide Web. And aiding us in our life-caching efforts are several digi-tools. Geeta Padmanabhan has the lowdown
In an alphabetically backtracking move, GenY is poised to become GenC, frenetically collecting and preserving thoughts, ideas, emotions, experiences, visual memories, life stories, achievements, appreciations and music. Using only a keyboard and nimble fingers we've taken to recording our lives in audio, video, images, infographics — in minute-by-minute detail, in real time. And we share it with WWW — the whole wide world. Remember filling pages of a diary in longhand?
Trendwatching.com calls it life-caching. It works in two parts — collect, store, track, display, share, then stare at the absolute necessity to manage it. Nudging us along on this narcissistic journey are the digi-tools — e-store/e-display your ballooning personal content, we tell you how!
Weblogging obviously opened the door. Word got around that publishing for posterity needed just a few clicks on blogger.com, and millions began digitally disclosing their lives — no detail is too trivial! Community blogging followed, so did visuals, videos and podcasts — till we began connecting cameraphones to our online diaries. That meant on-the-go postings and instant sharing, taking ‘Wish-you-were-here’ to a new level. In its ‘Show Your World’ ad Samsung urges cameraphone users to record ADLs and turn them into movies. Cameraphones, techies insist, are the centrepiece of life-caching around the globe.
We are hooked. In a happy cycle, enablers provide life-caching facilities that allow us to hive away more, which fuels better infrastructure. First-off-the-block is affordable storage space. Apple's mega-popular iPod (50 GB+ space) lets music fanatics cache mountains of melodies — imagine that with video, data, cameraphones and iLife integration. iPad mini has bumped its capacity to 128GB, Microsoft has its SenseCam (part of its LifeBits program), a brooch-sized wearable camera that can capture up to 2000 VGA images/day and sensor data/sec in 128Mbyte FLASH memory. Meanwhile Google, Yahoo!, Rediff and others offer massive free storage of email, files and info, anticipating the lifelog boom. Said Microsoft Research's Rick Rashid: “You can store every conversation you've ever had, every picture you've ever taken in terabytes.”
Aiding it are high-capacity memory sticks and mini-MP3 players — the new fashion accessories across Southeast Asia. Your digital life files — from music, movies, photos, documents to presentations — round your neck! Samsung's latest, the SGH-i300 (3-gigabyte?) has a hard-drive to store 2000+ photos or hundreds of MP3s. IBM is working on a mini device that uses almost no power, but has enough data storage capacity to “record everything that happens to you all day long.” MRAM (magnetic random access memory) “will make it possible to store 400 times more data in the same space as today's hardest, densest hard-drives.” (Source: Reveries.com.) There's Pretec's iDisk II, touted as the smallest USB flash-drive and Iomega NAS 100d that provides 160 gigabytes of storage space with software to automatically back-up family pictures/documents to the network drive.
On to organising. Nokia's Lifeblog software arranges messages, images, notes, videos and sound clips you capture with your mobile phone, moves it into a PC and classifies it chronologically with codes that uniquely identify cellphone base stations. In a very mobile form of life-caching, phone-sized devices with a USB interface make host PCs 'dumb' terminals — you use screen, keyboard and network connection, but run apps on the device itself.
What do you do with all that material? Tell stories, says French Ipernity, which helps customers write their biographies/special events/family history into a book/CD/website. Digital scrapbooking is also done by digitalscrapbookplace.com, which will create layouts, and art “to transform your moments into memories.” And don't forget Picasa, Flickr, Shotwell and Pinterest for photosharing. It means extra-powerful cameraphones, bigger memory cards, more streamlined do-it-yourself or serviced storytelling tools. Pantech & Curitel video-camphone records megapixel ‘camcorder-quality’ video clips on the go, Nokia's N90 phone could record VHS resolution video.
HP's StoryCast software enables smartphones to create stories with a narrated photo slide show and send it to one's online account via email, HTTP or MMS. MyFoodPhone and Nutrax allow users to take pictures of everything they eat with their cameraphone, send them to their dietician. With EMMA cellphone, you blog your pregnancy (source: Hyoung Won) — capture foetus videos, pictures, heartbeat sounds and tangible movements. Record My Call allows customers to dial in and record any conversation to any phone line in the U.K.
Go build your life professionally. And if you are smart enough, convert it into cash. You have nothing to lose but your privacy.
What you'll need
- Powerful search tools (Apple OS X’s Spotlight?).
- Quick browsing — with touch interfaces for faster access.
- Clear cross-referencing — as in all content about a person picked on the address book.
- Solid backup — can't lose life-cached possessions!
- Miracle keypad — for all posting/sharing activities.
- Web-PC-Device inter-operability — capture on your portable device, transport content, edit text/video/photos on PC, share on the web.