An article in the New York Times on experiments using what sounds like Gordon Bell’s MyLifeBits technology “to help people with Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders.”
The concept was simple: using digital pictures and audio to archive an experience like a weekend visit from the grandchildren, creating a summary of the resulting content by picking crucial images, and reviewing them periodically to awaken and strengthen the memory of the event….
In Pittsburgh, researchers had Mr. Reznick go on three excursions with a Sensecam around his neck, and a voice recorder in his shirt pocket and a GPS unit. On one trip, he went to an exhibition of glass sculptures with his wife, Sylvia, his son and a granddaughter.
The Sensecam takes hundreds of pictures in a short period. When researchers began exploring it as a memory aid a few years ago, they had patients and caregivers look at all the pictures together.
I’m not surprised that scientists would be using this technology for Alzheimer’s patients. If today’s early adopters are twentysomethings, in the next couple decades we’re going to see a shift: the most augmented, information technology-intensive Americans are likely to be the elderly, who will be using these technologies (often embedded in more ordinary-looking everyday devices) to battle memory loss, stay independent, and of course post pictures to their Facebook accounts.