Life on Film

Memoto CEO Martin Kallstrom with the Memoto camera. Photo by Johan Lange
Memoto CEO Martin Kallstrom with the Memoto camera. Photo by Johan Lange

Do you ever get to the end of a whirlwind trip and wish you could actually remember what you did? I’m guessing many of you who attended ScienceOnline2013 have forgotten as much awesome as you remember about the conference. What if there was a way to record your days for nostalgia’s sake or to monitor your lifestyle? You are in luck! This week at South-by-Southwest (SXSW) a Swedish start-up is pitching their tiny wearable camera called Memoto.

Memoto takes two geotagged photos each minute from its position on your collar, on a belt loop, wherever you decide to clip the tiny weather-proof camera. The camera’s battery can last several days and it recharges when you plug the camera into your computer to download all of the pictures taken since the last sync. Now you can record all the moments of the day that you might not think to whip out your smartphone to record. The camera isn’t automatically linked to social media platforms yet, but that functionality is on the horizon.

I think this particular functionality could really test the limits of personal privacy.  I personally don’t want two photos per minute of me posted to facebook while I have a conversation with someone. It can also be a huge infringement on patient privacy should someone wear this camera into a hospital and end up imaging someone’s private health information and potentially posting it to the web or even storing it on a server somewhere. Are medical practices even aware that this sort of thing exists?

Another issue linked with the type of data volume (120 photos per hour!) this camera would generate is storage. Memoto offers a remote server storage program for all of your images but it isn’t clear how secure your data will be. Memoto has several blog posts about data security but no firm policy in place yet. Would you be willing to risk having the images of your life exposed to anyone with the gumption to hack into those servers?

The idea of self-tracking is really intriguing but,I think I might be depressed to know how many photos a day are of my computer screen.

Whither Water

8431325708_e9eb970bf2_bEva has been delighting us all recently with descriptions of her trips to spectacular water engineering trips to locations like Haarlemmermeer and Hoover Dam. At the end of January, I went on my own trip to see a water engineering project. I don’t know if it counts as spectacular, but it was fun and interesting. As a prelude to ScienceOnline 2013, Scott Huler showed a lucky few what he had learned about the Raleigh storm water sewer system while researching his book on the infrastructure of modern cities, On the Grid.

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You can see all my photos from the tour (well all the ones that turned out OKish) at my Flickr page. Continue reading “Whither Water”

The Finch & Pea at ScienceOnline 2013

The Finch & Pea VennPrior to ScienceOnline 2012The Finch & Pea was a two man operation, literally. It was Mike and me. Grouchy and cantankerous; but lovable and cuddly. Now, we number eight. We may be a bit less grouchy, but we remain lovable and cuddly. Our new comrades over the past year – Marie-Claire, Michele, Sarah, Ben,  Heidi, and Eva – have added a lot of variety

And, The Finch & Pea is going to be very well represented at ScienceOnline 2013. Continue reading “The Finch & Pea at ScienceOnline 2013”