Memory Glasses

nym | 07:58 AM

Memory Glasses, and augmented memory is one reason I love the idea of wearable computing. My memory is horrible, and when it comes to meeting many people, sometimes I just can't remember a person's name. MIT has been working on their augmented memory project, Memory Glasses. They're like a PDA, except proactive in the sense that they try to pick out things they recognize, and give a cue of metadata about the person or thing. One of my old friends used to improve his social network by writing down every one's names and a sentence about them in an excel spreadsheet, so he would have something to say immediately when they called. This project is like that, but on steroids.

Memory Glasses function like a personal digital assistant; plus, they factor in the user's location at all times. The specs create a profile of the wearer and drop situation-appropriate hints when needed, such as what to pick up at the grocery store or someone's name upon a second meeting.

Instead of whispering hints in the wearer's ear, the glasses run software that flashes subliminal hints on a small screen within the lenses. After entering background information into the glasses' mini-computer, wearers often won't even be aware of the glasses jogging their memories.

MIT even is working on doing subliminal cues, so that the messages "fall below the threshold of conscious perception", which aparently is good for recalling that information later without a cue ("an improvment of about 1.5 compared to the uncued control").

[ Link via usa today ]

Edward Keyes reports that this project has been dorment for the past year or two (see comments). I'd heard about this project before, but I saw it on usatoday and wanted to say something about it. Does anyone know of anyone else doing research in aumented memory?


Unfortunately as far as I know the Memory Glasses project has been dormant for the last year or two at the Media Lab, since the principal investigator (Rich DeVaul) completed his thesis and graduated. Odd that USA Today would choose to run a story on it now... the project got a lot of press back in the fall of 2003 but nothing much is new since then.

Posted by: Edward Keyes at December 14, 2005 10:46 AM
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