Gordon Bell wearing a SenseCam
For past decade, Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell has been moving data from his brain onto computers — where he knows it’ll be safe. Bell takes the idea of digital memory to a sci-fi-esque extreme. He carries around video equipment, cameras and audio recorders to capture his conversations, commutes, trips and experiences. Microsoft’s working on a SenseCam that would hang around a person’s neck and automatically capture every detail of life in photo form. Bell has given that a whirl. He also saves everything — from restaurant receipts (he takes pictures of them) to correspondence, bills and medical records. He makes PDF files out of every Web page he views. In sum, this mountain of data — more than 350 gigabytes worth, not including the streaming audio and video — is a replica of Bell’s biological memory. It’s actually better, he says, because, if you back up your data in enough places, this digitized “e-memory” never forgets. It’s like having a multimedia transcript of your life, CNN.