Facebook and Instagram have conditioned people into sharing photos of their most memorable moments. But what about everything else that happens in between? That’s the content that Memoto, a Swedish start-up, wants to capture with a small, wearable camera that automatically takes photos of the wearer’s surroundings. The square-shaped device can be clipped onto a collar, a jacket or worn around the neck on a string. It snaps photos at 30-second intervals, and switches off only when it is dark, face-down or placed into a pocket.
To start, the photos will not be available for sharing through social media, although eventually that will be included as a feature. When its users plug the device into their computers to charge, Memoto uploads the photos via Wi-Fi into a companion application where its wearers can review the photos of the day, or watch a time-lapse video of a series of images. The app teases out the sharpest images of the set and displays them in a scrollable timeline.
Users will also be able to search through their photographic archive by location and time of day, which are captured by a clock and GPS unit built into the device.
A week in a Commissioner’s life. Why not?
Bridging the so called democratic gap, not only of EU institutions but of all governmental institutions at all levels governance, is a huge challenge for today’s comms professionals in the governmental and institutional realm. More than a democratic deficit (which is the idea that institutions of the European Union lack democratic accountability and legitimacy compared to the national governments of its member states) I feel there is a need to bridge a closure gap between citizens and policy makers. Citizens perceive institutions as security-locked buildings where some fellas wearing expensive suits make decisions that will affect the lives of millions.
Reality is actually is that Commissioners, as well as other EU policy makers are people. People that wake up in the morning to go to work and come back late in the evening to their families and face similar everyday issues like all of us. They are not entities above our head completely detached from reality as they are often depicted. Then, what if we could document their life?
What if we could observe a day in a Commissioner’s life through what they see? What if we could attach a Memoto camera to Barroso’s tie, or Neelie Kroes’s sleeve or Viviane Reding’s watch for a week?
For instance, President Barroso’s agenda is incredibly busy. It’s hard for me to think how he can get any sleep. Meeting after meeting, speech after speech, briefing after briefing and always being on the spot. I’m sure all EU citizens would appreciate watching this aspect of all policy-makers and would understand the real work behind the scene. It would also set an example on institutional transparency to all governmet offices in the Union and outside of it. Memoto allows that and brings in the added value of social media shareability.
Photolifelogging as a solution to democratic gap? Not fully, but certainly a potential step forward.