One thing the digital world has given us is the ability to capture and store our lives in a level of detail that was unthinkable a few years ago. Most people today have an archive of thousands of digital photos, and countless video clips from special events, most of which we don’t even have the time to enjoy. But it’s obvious that this is just the beginning, and a new generation of technology is going to provide even more tools for us to document and archive our lives in amazing ways.
Conceptual artist and technology wonk Alan Kwan from Hong Kong has developed a fascinating video archiving program he calls Memory Palace, which lets you store your video memories in a rich 3D computer game environment. The concept uses off the shelf components, but combines them in ways that deliver a completely fresh look at the process of storing our digital content.
He has developed his own custom video capture camera rig which fits onto a pair of standard glasses, and which uses microSD cards to capture video. Each 32GB card can store up to 15 hours of video, although he needs to carry around lots of spare batteries because each one only runs the camera for 3.5 hours. Once he’s captured his day on camera, he uploads it all to the computer and sets to work placing the clips into his 3D world.
The software comes with basic editing functionality, so he can cut and paste segments of video as he needs, and he can also build new ‘homes’ for his videos and even attach them to human-like characters which wander aimlessly through his cityscapes. It’s not a far stretch to see the whole system being extended to cope with multiple media types and with more interactivity thrown in, maybe even a rich gaming interface.
One idea is to have a ‘Memory Market’, where people can trade memories, and literally live in someone else’s shoes for a brief time. The beauty of lifeblogging with video, is the fact that once you have the right equipment – and small cameras can be bought for as little as $25 nowadays – the costs are minimal. Imagine being able to live through someone’s stunt driving, or wingsuit session in the Andes, with the right resolution it could be very interesting. Very Sci-Fi in fact.
Here’s an interesting interview with the artist about another of his other projects called Bad Trip.