MyLifeBits: a personal database for everything

Communications of the ACM (CACM) | , Vol 49: pp. 88-95

also as MSR-TR-2006-23

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MyLifeBits is a system that began in 2001 to explore the use of SQL to store all personal information found in PCs. The system initially focused on capturing and storing scanned and encoded archival material e.g. articles, books, music, photos, and video as well as everything born digital e.g. office documents, email, digital photos. It evolved to have a goal of storing everything that could be captured. The later included web pages, phone calls, meetings, room conversations, keystrokes and mouse clicks for every active screen or document, and all the 1-2 thousand photos that SenseCam captures every day. In 2006 the software platform is used for research including real time data collection, advanced SenseCams, and particular applications e.g. health and wellness. This article expands on the January 2006, CACM publication of the same name. MyLifeBits features, functions, and use experience are given in the main body, followed by an appendix of future research and product needs that the research has identified.