Lifeblogging: The Extraordinary in the Everyday

In March 2013, FutureEverything presented the Summit of Ideas & Digital Invention – a four day series of events including a two day conference focusing on digital culture, a contemporary art programme across multiple venues and a live music programme that hosted some of the finest electronic and experimental music from across the world.

The whole programme was documented through traditional video and stills photography, both to serve as an archive resource and as promotional collateral for the FutureEverything Festival in 2014. As a contrast to the formal documentation, we were put in touch with an exciting company called Autographer. Autographer has been created by OMG plc, an Oxford company with vast experience in motion capture and digital imaging that have recently found new opportunities in the ‘lifeblogging’ community – a group of organisations and individuals who are passively documenting the everyday, in the search of finding the extraordinary within the ordinary. By simply clipping a small digital camera to clothing, for example, an entire days activity is recorded, and can be archived, edited and shared in which ever way is deemed fit. Autographer actually has its roots in medical research, via OMG’s earlier camera, the Vicon Revue, that assists people with memory impairment, though has recently found a more playful function - who wouldn’t want to record an animated GIF of their day? In-person photography has been popular for cyclists and extreme sports enthusiasts for a number of years, thanks to products like the Go Pro, but what happens when you take that approach to recording more mundane activity?

The Autographer camera contains a series of additional sensors including temperature, GPS, light levels and other data streams. Where the product could really be a game changer is when it is unleashed into the hacking community – with video, still imagery and time stamped data sets to accompany the visual archive, designers, data visualisers and creative coders could produce all manner of work.

I look forward to seeing the product develop further – thanks to Jen, Joel and the rest of the Autographer team for inviting us to try out the prototypes.

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