Monday, 16 August 2010

Remembering the Day - Imaging Activities

Do you remember what you did just forty minutes ago, or maybe over lunch or just after you got up this early morning?
Maybe roughly and most likely you could piece it back together using key frames of memory constructing a sort of narrative reaching close to the area in question.

As a sort of extension of the UrbanDiary project, where GPS technology is used to trace the spatial extension of an everyday routine, timeLapse technology is used to frame individual activities and record a massive pool of images documenting an individuals day.

Image by urbanTick for UrbanDiary / Everyday situation recorded with the ViconRevue during the initial trials in August 2010. The perspective is something the viewer has to get used to.

The technology used is a ViconRevue cam. It is based on the Microsoft SensCam discussed in another post. From the distance, not having had the chance to test the device, the impression was not too convincing. However now, having used it for a coupe of days, taken a few thousand snaps, it has to be said that it work really well.

Vicom describes the product everywhere as a memory suport and uses a couple of medical studies where the Revenue is used by patients suffering memory loss, brain injuries or Alzheimer. In the current setting we are focusing on urban and city navigation, differences of activities in a number of spatial configuration. For this we have coupled the camera with a GPS device inorder to trace the spatial movement.


Image by urbanTick for UrbanDiary / Everyday situation recorded with the ViconRevue during the initial trials in August 2010. The available privacy button gives a 4minute time-out, but usually this is over in the very wrong moment.

It does help a bit with the remembering of specific situations. However the perspective is something one has to get use to. It si not exactly the belly button view, but slightly higher. More strange it is the sort of Doom/Quake perspective with one's own hands constantly in the frame that distracts from the actual activity documented. It is your personal first person shooter perspective.

The installation and managing of the camera and data surprisingly works on a Mac as well as a Windows machine. It uses the Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) technology.
Best surprise was the accessibility of a CSV fiel that actually stores the sensor information for each captured image. The camera uses, in addition to a timer, several sensors to trigger the capturing of an image. This should ensure an image being captured at every change of environment. However, in the accompanying documentation Vicom does not reveal what sort of sensors there are integrated wiht the cam. There is a brightness sensor, maybe a motion sensor? but not sure what else there might be. The CSV file should reveal more details.

Not convincing is the desktop software to review the captured material. Maybe there is less function on the mac version, but even with establishing the various folders the app has difficulties. It did corrupt some of the days and is not willing to show the material unlike for other days where it works perfectly. Handling is tricky and the only option given is a note box either for full albums or individual images. There is not option to sort the images other than by album which is based on time and date.

We will keep working with the as part of the UrbanDiary project in collaboration with the New Scientist. A variety of different participants will contribute glimpses of their everyday lives over the coming weeks. We will keep you posted for update.

Music 'Ain't my Night to Drive' taken from mp3unsigned by Jennifer Riddle.

No comments: