It seemed only fitting to follow up an earlier emerging trends post on wearable devices with one on lifelogging, as technologies for recording every aspect of our lives are evolving rapidly.
They range from cameras we can attach to our shirts or wear as glasses, to clothing that can continuously record our vital signs.” They include a vast array of social networking and microblogging platforms where our relationships along with every thought, like, and dislike can be expressed. And last, but not least, there are a variety of sensors that are capable of detecting and storing a description of our every move.
The concept of lifelogging is nothing new. In fact, it’s as old as the first drawing on a cave wall that depicted a day in the life of our ancestors. In 2013, however, there are very few limitations on the ways humans can record and share their experiences, not just day by day but second by second.
As with all technologies, though, there’s a counterpoint. From a societal standpoint, just because we can do something, doesn’t mean there are always straightforward answers regarding whether we should. Lifelogging sits squarely at the intersection of possible and not necessarily desirable (not by the masses at least… not just yet). Challenges related to privacy, especially, will have to be addressed along with simply searching and making sense of all the information that comprises even one of our days, let alone all of them.
Whether we realize it or not, though, most of us are already conducting our own experiments with lifelogging. We blog, we tweet, we check in, we share photos, videos, where we are, and who we’re with. The reason may be fairly ordinary – simply capturing a memory, for example, so we can re-experience it later (or notice, for the first time, the finer details of a moment we just might have missed “in the moment”). The reason could also, however, be essential and profound – allowing someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s to remember his or her day or an experience with a loved one they may have forgotten.
As emerging trends go, it’s difficult to think of one as intriguing, yet as challenged as lifelogging seems to be currently. As Sabre’s Senior Principal of Emerging Technology, I happen to have these conversations often with a wide variety of individuals in my personal and professional life – I know that a lot of people have some strong opinions on lifelogging and what it may mean for us going forward, both individually and as a society… and many of those opinions are positive, just as many others are negative.
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on how you think lifelogging will emerge as a trend in the coming years, and specifically what impact you think it could have on travelers, as well as those companies in the business of serving them, as it continues to evolve.