We search the Internet everyday to find answers about many topics, but usually it doesn't contain personal information, isn't it time we can search our lives to find answers about ourselves!
We live in a world with more media being generated, more space to store it, and better technology to recollect it. Now more than any time before we have the ability to store and retrieve all information we come across in our lives.
Think how many times you wished you can remember the name of that thing your friend told you about couple of months back. Besides remembering important moments in your life, think about the useful insights and patterns you can get about your own life, for example how many hours per week do you spend on reading.
What it does
As the name suggests, SearchingMyLife is a digital service that allows users to record, search and playback their life. Think about it as having an E-memory.
How we built it
Our digital service is comprised of the following:
Mobile application (we support Android at the moment) that records audio constantly and takes pictures periodically and sends this data to a server running on the cloud where the audio is transcribed to text through a speech recognition service.
Website with the domain name searchingmylife.com where users can search for a word or more that was recorded by the mobile application. The search results contain transcribed text that can play the audio associated with that text. In addition, users can get a list of transcribed text that they said before and after the searched word(s) which can be played in audio as well. Moreover, the images tab will show the users the images that were taken within the time the searched word was said. similar to the audio tab, the users can get a list of images that come before or after the time of the searched word.
How to get the most out of this service:
Even though for audio the user can just use the service from his pocket, but to get the most out of the service the user can hang his mobile phone as a necklace using a phone necklace case as shown in the link below:
We 3D-printed our own mobile phone necklace case at junction's Microsoft 3D printing lab.
Challenges we ran into
We planned to use Google Glass for our service, but since it wasn't available in the hardware media lab, we had to change the way users will use our service for recording images. So we came up with the idea of using the user's phone as a necklace instead. Getting all the components of the service to work together was a challenge as well.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Being able to bring our vision forward by implementing the SearchingMyLife service in such a short time.
What we learned
Asking for help. When ever we ran into problems we were able to get help from our team members, participants and junction organizers. The spirit in Junction is truly a cooperative and friendly one.
Talha, one of our team members from Estonia learned to navigate around Helsinki. :)
What's next for SearchingMyLife
Since junction is about hacking and prototyping, we have aimed to make the most basic features of our service. Here is a list of features and additions we will work on right after junction:
- Opening our RESTful API service to the public, so that other developers can make cool applications and push SearchingMyLife vision forward. We have developed our web service as a RESTful web service specifically for this reason.
- Searching images by text, through Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Imagine searching all the emails, articles, and websites you came across.
- Enhance search experience through:
- Searching with time (not only words)
- Find similar words
- Find all tenses that can conjugate the verb
- Suggest corrections eg. spell checkers
- A dedicated wearable hardware instead of running on mobile phones to avoid mobile phone battery drainage.
- Adding GPS data to be able to search locations.
- Using HTTPS and encrypting users data.
Trying out the service
Since we haven't published our android application on google play store, so for demo purposes login with this Facebook account: username: email@example.com ,password: aywaba2a