Atmos: Crowd–sourcing Estimations about Current and Future Weather Conditions

This month saw the International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp) held in the unexpectedly sunny Seattle. UbiComp is the premier conference in the field, regularly attracting over 700 participants. RECALL had a strong presence there, with team members organizing a novel Workshop on “Ubiquitous Technologies for Augmenting the Human Mind (WAHM)”. In additional, RECALL team member Evangelos Niforatos presented his work on the Atmos system in the conference’s poster session .

Atmos allows collecting empirical reports about current weather conditions.
Atmos Screenshot

Atmos is a novel approach to weather estimation. It introduces the use of participatory sensing to collect in-situ weather data, both from sensors and human input. Atmos leverages a crowd-sourcing network of mobile devices to generate highly localized information about current and future weather conditions. Participatory sensing involves the utilization of mobile devices to form interactive, collaborative sensor networks that enable users to garner, analyze and share local knowledge. Under this guise, participatory sensing exhibits a unique level of spatio-temporal coverage in observing phenomena of interest in urban spaces. The key idea behind this new paradigm is the enabling of mobile users to collect and share sensed data about their natural settings in large scale, using their mobile devices. Continue reading Atmos: Crowd–sourcing Estimations about Current and Future Weather Conditions

Dagstuhl Seminar on Augmenting Human Memory – Capture and Recall in the Era of Lifelogging

Schloß Dagstuhl
Castle Dagstuhl

Dagstuhl, a remote place in the greens of Germany, is a well known destination in the Informatics community. The infamous Dagstuhl seminars provide a platform for researchers for personal interaction and open discussions of results, ideas, sketches and pending challenges. In the week between August, 31st and September, 5th, of this year 28 researchers from various disciplines came together to discuss the topic of “Augmenting the Human Memory — Capture in the Era of Lifelogging”.The seminar organized by Mark Billinghurst, Nigel Davies, Marc Langheinrich and Albrecht Schmidt, explored how technology can fundamentally change the way we interact with human memory. This included the focus on various trends that are currently changing our existing research on capture and playback technologies, privacy and society, as well as existing theories of memory. Continue reading Dagstuhl Seminar on Augmenting Human Memory – Capture and Recall in the Era of Lifelogging

The “RECALL House” Experiment

The small hostel in the Lake District that we took over for our "RECALL House" experiment
The small hostel in the Lake District that we took over for our “RECALL House” experiment

Last month we organized an internal 3-day event for gathering experience on how comprehensive imagery life-logging works, both from a technical point of view as well as from a participant’s point of view. From May 20-23 the Lancaster team rented a small hostel up in the Lake District, UK, for us, and lugged up plenty of food and technical equipment to keep us busy (and well fed) during the three days. The advantage of this rural setting was that we could rent the entire hostel for the team, hence minimizing the chances that other guests would be caught on one of our many cameras. Our only outside contact was a lady that brought us light luncheons each day, as well as the hostel owner who checked us in the first day. Each site brought different capturing devices, thus transforming the hostel into “RECALL House” — an instrumented environment (a very much simplified version of the MIT PlaceLab if you will) geared towards capturing imaging data from all participants during most of our waking hours. Continue reading The “RECALL House” Experiment

Lifelogging and Challenges of a Holistic Quantified Self

Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and the availability of wearable technologies, large-scale data collection is on the rise. People log their steps with commercial products such as Fitbit and keep track of their activities and locations using apps like endomondo. Gordon Bell [1] went even further and made it his mission to attempt to record his entire life: images, sounds, videos as well as personal documents. He pioneered the trend towards lifelogging applications that has been supported by research projects such as Microsoft’s SenseCam [2]. Whereas technologies such as Fitbit are aimed at collecting quantitative data about movement and health to set incentives for improvement, the SenseCam serves as memory aid by automatically capturing a digital record of the wearer’s day. Continue reading Lifelogging and Challenges of a Holistic Quantified Self

Recall-Induced Forgetting for Real-World Experiences

Recall researchers Geoff Ward and Caterina Cinel from the University of Essex are finishing a preliminary series of three psychology experiments for Recall examining whether a phenomenon known as retrieval-induced forgetting (or RIF, see Anderson, Bjork & Bjork, 1994) which can be observed with words in the psychology laboratory will be likely to be found with images of autobiographical memories in the real world. Continue reading Recall-Induced Forgetting for Real-World Experiences

Memories Stimulate Emotional Attachment

A Lancaster undergraduate has collaborated with Recall researchers on her final year dissertation exploring how memories can be used to trigger emotional attachment to technology deployed in public spaces. The student ran a series of experiments in which sets of photographs deliberately designed to trigger memories were shown on public displays. Participants in the study completed regular questionnaires that were designed to gauge their attitudes to the public displays. The student has recently submitted her dissertation for examination and the results of her work have been submitted to PerDis 2014.

How Can We Trust the What We See ?

When public displays are used to trigger recall there is a different trust relationship as compared to memory cuing via personal display devices. The Recall team have been exploring the extent to which viewers are able to attribute different levels of trust to different information sources viewed on the same display. This is important because public displays form an important part of our envisioned Recall architecture. This work has been submitted to PerDis 2014.

Dagstuhl Seminar

We are delighted to announce that Albrecht Schmidt, Marc Langheinrich and Nigel Davies from the Recall project in partnership with Mark Billinghurst (HITLab New Zealand) have successfully bid to organise a Dagstuhl seminar on next generation augmented memory systems. We hope to use the seminar to help build a momentum within the community that is focused around memory augmentation and to help strengthen European research in this exciting new field. Full details of the seminar can be found on our events page.