Innovation That Matters

Auto-snapping camera documents its wearer's life

Work & Lifestyle

It’s been a while since we’ve reported on the life caching trend, but a new innovation recently caught our eye: a wearable digital camera that automatically takes photos throughout the day as a way of recording the wearer’s life. Based on Microsoft Research SenseCam technology, Vicon Revue was originally intended as a research tool aimed at helping people with Alzheimer’s disease. Users typically wear the 6.5-by-7-by-1.7-cm camera on a cord around their neck, but it can also be clipped to clothing. Among its features are an accelerometer, a compass and a fish-eye lens to ensure that nearly everything in the wearer’s view is captured. The device can operate either on a timer—taking photos every 30 seconds—or it can be set to take photos automatically when triggered by internal sensors, which can detect body heat as well as changes in temperature, light and motion. Along with images, the camera also stores a time-stamped log file that can be enriched with GPS traces. Its 1GB of flash memory can typically hold around 30,000 images, or approximately 6 days’ worth of capture. The Revue will soon be available online from Vicon, its UK-based maker, for research purposes; pricing will be GBP 500. Eventually, however, Vicon hopes to sell a version designed for use by consumers. One to partner with and help make that happen? (Related: Camera-bikes broadcast offline life to FlickrMore paparazzi for the massesWearable device tracks fitness data 24/7.) Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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