Today I talked to my mom for 1 minute and 53 seconds and played Angry Birds for four hours. Here's a filtered picture of an omelette I ate.
In an apparent move to bring the imaginary, all-seeing world of The Truman Show one step closer to reality, Samsung has filed a patent for what Engadget is aptly calling a "life diary": The patent essentially describes an app that would allow your smartphone to automatically record a journal of your day, every day, based on your location and whatever you do with your phone. You would then be able to look back at a calendar and see what you did with your life, according to your smartphone activity.
Here's part of the description from the patent application (keep in mind that this is written in patent-ese):
With the development of wired/wireless technologies, it made possible to continuously collect information related to a user's daily life. For example, due to the development of mobile communication technologies, a user always carries a mobile device. According to this, the mobile device can collect a variety of information of user's call record, photograph, music file play, position information and the like.
However, a current mobile device does not provide a service considering a user's convenience on the basis of the user's daily life information. According to this, there is a need for a technology for summarizing user's life information into a story on the basis of user's daily life information and providing the story to a user in a mobile device.
Later in the patent, Samsung proposes using -- in addition to your photographs, the music you listen to, your call records, and your locations throughout the day -- social media activity, the weather, your text messages, and information from your address book to fill out the diary entry, to give a true portrait of your day. Each entry, naturally, would be a multimedia affair, with any photos and videos you took included, and perhaps a song or two you've been enjoying lately.
There are already apps, of course, that approach this level of user oversight. Google Now, the Siri competitor on Android smartphones, constantly runs in the background and learns about you as you go about your day, eventually delivering a daily traffic report, and scores from your favorite sports teams, and restaurant recommendations without any input. A new app for the iPhone called Saga (invitation only) also tracks your location and attempts to learn the restaurants and stores you like and the establishments you haunt in order to recommend nearby spots you might also like.
Neither "ambient companion" app, however, details your life to the extent that Samsung's proposed life diary does. Going forward, it will be interesting to see whether Samsung turns this patent into reality, and if so, whether it comes pre-installed on its phones and tablets. Here's hoping it at least comes with an opt-out, if it does.