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Adarsh TS
Adarsh TS

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Lifelogging: An intresting read 📖

I was trying to find out ways to integrate the Intel Realsense d435i camera into the ROS2 navigation stack that I am building when I stumbled upon the term VIO (Visual Inertial Odometry). This emerging technology uses CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductors) sensors for vision and IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) sensors to sense balance and orientation. VIO tries to emulate our natural behavior to localize and map an unknown environment.

This article by Anders Grunnet-Jepsen, Michael Harville, Brian Fulkerson, Daniel Piro, Shirit Brook, Jim Radford gives a detailed explanation and insights about Visual SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) and how the Intel T265 Tracking Camera uses this technology.

Egocentric vision

... examples of using such an embedded sensor for ego-centric tracking of 6DOF for a robot and AR/VR headset respectively.

The term, "ego-centric" seemed very peculiar to me, so I did a Google search, and I am happy that I did. While going through this Wikipedia article I came across the hyperlink to Microsoft Sensecam. Now this got me very fascinated.

Microsoft's SenseCam is a lifelogging camera with fisheye lens and trigger sensors, such as accelerometers, heat sensing, and audio, invented by Lyndsay Williams, patent[1] granted in 2009. Usually worn around the neck, Sensecam is used for the MyLifeBits project, a lifetime storage database. Early developers were James Srinivasan and Trevor Taylor.


What's this project about? Wikipedia, here I come.

MyLifeBits is a life-logging experiment begun in 2001.[1] It is a Microsoft Research project inspired by Vannevar Bush's hypothetical Memex computer system.

After reading a little bit about Vannevar Bush, I started to understand the purpose of this project. MyLifeBits project was an attempt to fulfill Vannevar Bush's vision to have a system that complements our memory. I was surprised to know that the chief experiment subject, Gordon Bell wore a camera around his neck for close to 8 years!

The collected data from the camera, the books, emails and articles read by Gordon Bell was later compiled and also published as a paperback! It was a little disappointing to find out that Gordon stopped wearing the camera since 2009. This article titled, "Lifelogging is dead (for now)" gives more details on why this project ended. It is an interesting read.

This is an excerpt from the "Lifelogging is dead (for now)" article which made me super excited:

We'll interact with our data using future versions of Siri-like virtual assistants. Instead of searching through terabytes of data, we'll simply ask our assistant: "Hey, what was the name of that restaurant I enjoyed in London a few years ago?"

Back to learning on how to integrate my Intel Realsense camera in my navigation stack.

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