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Photographic memory made easy

Mike Elgan | Jan. 26, 2016
Lifelogging used to be an obscure area of geek research. Now you're doing it every day. Here's how to lifelog even better.

Second, we're already lifelogging. Incredible amounts of lifelogging data is already being harvested through our obsessive picture-taking and social-posting, and through our use of cloud computing and wearables and other sensor-equipped devices.

Third, only the photos really matter. All that sensor-based data is worthless for remembering one's own life and experiences. They just get in the way -- too much information. Pictures are what matter for jogging memory.

And fourth, when it comes to the photo-based lifelogging we're already doing -- well, we're doing it wrong. We capture only the photos that we deliberately decide to capture, missing both the surprising and the mundane. Our lifelogging photo memories are full of too many gaps and holes.

2. Get a Narrative Clip 2

You can buy any of a dozen or so wearable cameras for lifelogging. But the new Narrative Clip 2 is the one I recommend. It's tiny -- smaller than a smartwatch without the band -- and weighs next to nothing (19 grams). It's unobtrusive without being a sleazy "spy camera."

The Narrative Clip started out as the Memoto Lifelogging Camera. Three Swedish entrepreneurs funded the company on Kickstarter in late 2012, reaching their goal after only five hours and shipping product at scale a couple of years later.

The original product was impressive for a crowd-funded 1.0 release. But the new version, which shipped last month, is the one you really want because it's cheaper, more powerful and easier to use.

In fact, it couldn't be easier to use. Just clip it on yourself (or your dog, or whatever). Then charge it every day. By simply being plugged in to charge, the Clip uploads and offloads the pictures from the device to the cloud, where you can delete, tag or share photos at your leisure.

The $199 Narrative Clip 2 has a better camera: An 8-megapixel model that shoots 1080p video at 30 frames per second using a wider-angle (86-degree) lens. It has built-in GPS and its 8GB of built-in storage holds 4,000 pictures. And Wi-Fi auto-downloads the pictures from the clip to your phone when you plug in the device to charge it. It has no buttons, but a double-tap takes a picture or video instantly. (You set the options in the app.) It comes in black, white or red and with multiple clips for different attachment options.

The options include setting an automatic picture-taking interval of every 10, 15, 30, 45, 60 or 120 seconds.

The cloud storage comes with 10GB free, and the smart software separates your pictures into "Moments." Narrative uses algorithms to choose your best photos and then highlights them on a Narrative-specific social network called Explore. You can also share the pictures on any social network. (By default, all pictures are kept private until you take action to share.)


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