Beyond ‘total capture’ to ‘some utilization’

Sellen and Whittaker wrote an interesting article ‘Beyond Total Capture: A constructive critique of Lifelogging’. As technology advanced, it became possible to collect data and store it easily. In fact the last decade saw a rapid progress in sensors, storage, and processing technology making it possible to collect really large volumes of multimodal data and store it. What was happening at one time to large organizations like NASA, started happening to individuals. Projects like Lifelogs (or MyLifeBits, or eChronicles, …) were based on the idea that once this data is collected people will find ways to use it. Most of the Lifelogging systems are still in the mode of collecting data.

As argued in this paper, it may be more productive to
“explore what practical purpose such exhaustive personal digital records might actually serve.” They suggest that the data capture and organization should be clearly motivated by the ‘five Rs’: recollecting, reminiscing, retrieving, reflecting, and remembering. This point is very important. Data collection is usually with a specific goal. In Lifelog also, much data has been collected, now time has come to go beyond data collection to data utilization. The task of organizing such large volumes of data in disparate modea (or mediums) has resulted in creation of many silos that are difficult to combine for any meaningful utilization of the data. This trend is becoming common even in commercial systems that usually create separate silos on mobile phones in social networks. Since there are no approaches to effectively utilize these data sources across their silos, much of this data is rarely used.

Time has come for researchers and entrepreneurs to address this problem of utilizing the data. And the five Rs are definitely a good goal to start with.


2 thoughts on “Beyond ‘total capture’ to ‘some utilization’

  1. Karmaloop

    the five Rs you mention do seem to make sense however i think some of they overlap too much, and it could very easily be just 4 Rs

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