Wearable technology that records memories


This is Neo Mohsenvand. He’s a scientist who constantly records his life. It sums up to 18 hundred hours of video. But it’s not just video, he’s also recording his feelings – using these devices, which he wears every day. He calls it Mnemo and he thinks it will one day change how we remember and react to what happens to us. Knowing more about yourself it’s gonna change the story of your life. Neo is part of the Fluid Interfaces team at MIT Media Lab. Where scientists are developing wearable technology that could make us better at regulating emotion making decisions or remembering the past. We have the opportunity to create the first comprehensive database of human experience. This wristband records my heartrate, my skin conductance, which is a really good index of how stressed or how excited a person is. I record my body temperature, the headset is recording what’s going on in the brain. Mnemo is recording all this data simultaneously to build a bank of Neo’s memories: Experiences that he can revisit and also learn how he was feeling at that moment. For example, here’s us interviewing Neo. And here’s what that experience looks like in his memory bank. And this is what’s being picked up by the sensors. He started recording his life nine months ago. And nearly every night he goes through the day’s footage. He’s built a system that speeds up the video, and slows down only for the moments that made him especially anxious, happy or calm. It’s me listening to audio books or music. Some sort of memory amplification system Where I can watch it in five minutes and understand all the important moments. Neo is hoping something like this could actually be wired into the brain and create an artificial memory for people with brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. Someone asks you, “what did you have for breakfast”? You just think about breakfast and it immediately finds the video of that moment. And for example you can see it on your phone or if you have smart glasses you can see it in your glasses. Both of my grandmas got Alzheimer’s. I had the opportunity to take care of one of them for a while and it’s such a heartbreaking disease. If you look at the products that are available for Alzheimer’s, most of the technology is about how to lock the cabinets and how to make sure the patient stays in the room. Nobody is building devices that can bring them back to functionality. The first step is collecting as much data as possible to feed into a software that can recognize faces, objects and patterns in a particular person’s life. So Neo is his own research subject. And he’s willing to wear this as long as it takes to build that database. He’s gotten used to the staring. Luckily his girlfriend has gotten used to it too. At first I was just annoyed cause I was like, I don’t like being filmed I don’t like it when people look at me. So I don’t want to be filmed. But then I’m like, you know, I love vlogs, and I love watching people, and I love having memories so now I’m just used to it, I actually like it a lot. And it’s come with an added bonus. Neo says sifting through footage of his day has made him more aware of the things that make him happy, and he seeks those out more. Moments where I get food for her – I like watching her eat. Doing physicial activity together, it always leads to lasting calmness. So in that sense, it’s kind of like a private psychologist. You’re constantly analyzing in the context of your memories to figure out what you should do next. I think more about investing my life on things that actually matter. And I think much less about the tiny things that bother me.

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27 thoughts on “Wearable technology that records memories

  1. And if this would be developed in China, Quartz would spin it as dystopian way of reading thoughts and invading privacy.

  2. Lol I was thinking about this the other day and made a presentation about it without even doing background research or knowing anything about it!!!

  3. Flipside of the rose tinted glasses is trauma programming, learned helplessness, psychological corrosion & menticide/false memory 'Manchurian candidates'.

  4. I wonder how this could work for someone with chronic pain because their vitals are affected by stimulus not viewable by the camera.

  5. Is there a way to pay for a prototype? I'd be interested in helping this project along. Willing to sign NDA/non-compete agreement etc.

  6. why record everything. There's not much to my life. Most people complain 'boring' . i don't feel happy. um… Alzheimer's is a physical brain degradation. MELAS syndrome has Alzheimer's-like dementia. Not actual dementia.

  7. People don,t need to keep all their memories in their mind..
    It,s necessary for them to forget
    some and replace some up to date ones…never mind if you don,t remember the names of many school mates or what you
    had for dinner 476 days before..

  8. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING. THERE ARE SOME THINGS IN LIFE THAT ARE BETTER LEFT IN THE PAST. ALWAYS RECORDING EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL END UP IN THE NOW WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON THOSE THINGS. YOUR NOT IN THE NOW. WASTING YOUR PRECIOUS TIME ON PAST SUBJECTS. Time is the most valuable thin we have. We can't buy it, or rewind and relive what has passed. If we want to record a memory we write it down, and take pictures. Recording everything would be an unhealthy emotionally. The people you love and or care about would loose their privacy. Would you record someone's Slow painful death? NO! Let God keep the record's. Everyone's walk on earth is unique to their memories. It's what makes us who we become. There are many bad memories that you may not want to remember when your older. What if your wife was unfaithful. or your child died. Would you want to go back and watch it all over again? Would you use the recorded memory to remind your wife how she was unfaithful? You never know what the future holds Good and bad. Pain is better left in the past. Reliving what happened a week ago, makes next week never the same. Just live life and be grateful for what you have. Everything changes constantly. We have to let it.

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