Thursday, January 06, 2005

Wearable Invers N10 Mp3 Player and Audio Recorder Captures Conversations, Meetings and Lectures

Invers N10 Mp3 player and audio recorder is worn around your neck like high-tech jewellery. The 'necklace' serves as a set of ear phones, and the N10's MP3 player has 512 MB of recording space. The voice recorder can be activated almost instantly, which makes taking lecture notes so easy. The audio file can later be downloaded to your PC in Mp3 format, annotated and even transcribed. You could use it to record personal brainstorms, ideas, dreams, verbal instructions, or the minutes from business meetings.

Here's a real product that carries out some of the functions that the still-in-development (yawn!)
Sensecam has been promising. And you can see the uses and applications it suggests straight away. In a way, this is an audio version of the Sensecam. The Sensecam takes care of the visual side and could be used to captures notes on a screen, black board or overhead projector, or capture street names, written directions, diagrams and maps. You can imagine that a proper product-for-sale Sensecam would incorporate the audio function as well. But I wish Microsoft would hurry up with the development of it and decide whether this particular prototype is going to follow the Invers N10 into the marketplace. If they don't the N10's and Nokia Lifeblogs of this world may just get in there first and steal the market. And the Sensecam could end up as another too-late-to-come-to-the-party product like the Xbox. Microsoft should hurry a Sensecam beta product to the market so that we can play with it, abuse it, argue about it and basically have a big controversy about it.

These are two wearable data recording gadgets. Where the Invers N10 differs from the Sensecam is the visual component. We can accept audio recording on the hoof, but visual recording? In this conservative climate? Oh lordy-lordy no! Maybe that's the real reason why Microsoft are soft-pedalling on this one? It's a minefield ahead!


Will SenseCam Change The World For Better or Worse?

A new post release on ZDNet's Between the Lines, entitled Miss or Mister Manners in the digital age raises a number of interesting points and questions about Sensecam type equipment and gadgetry.

1. It poo-poos the impact of Sensecam, saying that mobile phones will sit in your shirt pocket and have all the capabilities of Sensecam and more... recording audio and video, transcribing speech, getting continuous GPS location data and sending it to servers for storage creating a full archive of your life.

2. It raises the thought that we will all have to assume continuous monitoring by others and predicts that this will improve our manners and make us much more polite people. Hmm?

3. Commenting on this post, Dak wonders aloud at how Sensecam-type data collection will affect social and legal interactions. He asks, if Sensecam data gets used in legal cases, how soon before forged recordings begin to surface?

4. Another reader comments that, in the near future, meeting places will need full-spectrum jammers to have private negotiations. And points out that Radio Shack are already offering an 'Aluminum' bearing paint to block wireless signals.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Human Blackbox Recorders For Tsunami and Other Natural Disasters?

With the recent Tsunami disaster affecting so many lives and so many people still missing, one can't help wondering whether Sensecam would have made it easier to trace people and help doctors treating injuries.

If Sensecam type gadgets were common, perhaps built into clothing or worn like a badge, and contained GPS tracking locators as the developers have hinted at, wouldn't it be much easier to locate some of the missing people?

Would these human blackbox recorders tell us anything that we need to know? Would anyone actually want to see the "bird's eye" view of a victim of a natural disaster? Could the information that a Sensecam provided, of someone being caught up in a Tsunami wave, help create safety products or things that could help minmise the impact of such natural disasters in the future? Would seeing what actually happened to their loved ones enable relatives to find better closure on their grief? Or would such evidence just be too graphic, too shocking, too horrible to bear?

ABC NEWS has nominated bloggers as it's Person of the Year, and even now hundreds of eye witness accounts of the Tsunami disaster are being recounted on personal blogs. Those bloggers would have been able to enhance their stories with Sensecam images of the disaster unfolding moment-by-moment.

The Tsunami disaster has presented us with some of the most graphically horrific images of death, injury and human tragedy. And many would argue that we shouldn't look at those images, that they shoud be censored. However this is the real human story and it must be told. The video footage, photographs and news reporting have all helped awaken this massive global compassion for the victims. Sensecam would have added new elements to this very important, very real human story. And those elements would have revealed in many instances the immense courage of many who risked and lost their lives trying to save others.

The Sensecam argument is that lives are worth saving. Everybody knows this.

Ways to help with Tsunami Relief