FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, April 04, 2005

Your Life in Bits

How much of your life is digitized? How many digital photos do you have? Are your personal documents stored as PDFs somewhere? How about videos?

Trendwatching has put a name to the long-noted trend toward recording aspects of one's life digitally -- life caching. As personal communications devices converge and storage space becomes more compact and cheap (falling to a penny per megabyte), recording, storing and sharing one's life experiences will become more practical... and more common.

To understand the potency of today's storage media, consider this quote from Microsoft Research's Rick Rashid: "You can store every conversation you've ever had in a terabyte. You can store every picture you've ever taken in another terabyte. And the Net Present Value of a terabyte is $200."

Take, for example, Iomega's Family File Server, the NAS 100d, a backup device for family digital media that stores 160 GB of data.

Or, USB personal servers like those from Realm Systems, which essentially serve as a pocket-sized PC that could be hooked up to any monitor and keyboard...

Is the current crop of camera and video phones too limiting for you? Then check out the latest video phone from Pantech:

Trendwatching also takes note of blogging, digital scrapbooking and even biography services. These and other technologies address the "how" of life caching, but not the "why." Will other people find your life to be as interesting as you find it? Or will all this be little more than an exercise in high-tech ego-tripping? Plus, how much of your life do you really want to record and save for posterity? Already we've seen how people can be embarassed by their personal digital media being compromised.

The technology of life caching is falling into place, but the art and craft of it will require time to evolve.

Source: Trendwatching