Established: November 2, 2001

MylifeBits is a lifetime store of everything. It is the fulfillment of Vannevar Bush’s 1945 Memex vision including full-text search, text & audio annotations, and hyperlinks.

mylifebits_gordonscanThe book Total Recall (opens in new tab) (paperback title Your Life, Uploaded) is the culmination of our thoughts regarding MyLifebits and the larger CARPE research agenda.

There are two parts to MyLifeBits: an experiment in lifetime storage, and a software research effort.

The experiment: Gordon Bell has captured a lifetime’s worth of articles, books, cards, CDs, letters, memos, papers, photos, pictures, presentations, home movies, videotaped lectures, and voice recordings and stored them digitally. He is now paperless, and is beginning to capture phone calls, IM transcripts, television, and radio.

The software research: Jim Gemmell and Roger Lueder have developed the MyLifeBits software, which leverages SQL server to support: hyperlinks, annotations, reports, saved queries, pivoting, clustering, and fast search. MyLifeBits is designed to make annotation easy, including gang annotation on right click, voice annotation, and web browser integration. It includes tools to record web pages, IM transcripts, radio and television. The MyLifeBits screensaver supports annotation and rating. We are beginning to explore features such as document similarity ranking and faceted classification. We have collaborated with the WWMX team to get a mapped UI, and with the SenseCam (opens in new tab) team to digest and display SenseCam output.

Support for academic research: Our team led the 2005 Digital Memories (Memex) RFP, which supported 14 universities and led to an impressive list of publications (opens in new tab). We also established the ACM CARPE Workshops in 2004 (opens in new tab)2005 (opens in new tab), and 2006 (opens in new tab)