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MyLifeBits project. Jim Gemmell, Gordon Bell, and Roger Lueder, Microsoft Research, 2006 Min Hong. Contents. Introduction Related works Guiding principles Implementation Future works Conclusion Discussion. Introduction.

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Mylifebits project

MyLifeBits project

Jim Gemmell, Gordon Bell, and Roger Lueder, Microsoft Research, 2006

Min Hong


  • Introduction

  • Related works

  • Guiding principles

  • Implementation

  • Future works

  • Conclusion

  • Discussion


  • When your house burns down, given only one thing that could be saved

  • Which one would you grab from your house?


  • What is MyLifeBits project?

  • In 2001

    • A system for storing all of one’s digital media

    • Documents, images, sounds, and videos

  • In 2006

    • Real time capture

      • Conversations, meetings, sensor readings, health monitors, and computer activity

    • SQL-based storage platform


  • Blueprint

    • In 1945, Vannevar Bush, “Memex”

    • “A device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.”


  • Motivation

    • Terabyte storage device

Related works
Related works

  • SenseCam

    • MyLifeBits that enable management of SenseCam photos and data

    • It is attached via a neck strap or clip to the front of the user's body

    • 18 bytes/sec → 760 KB in 12 hours of operation → 128MB flash memory (2000 images)

Related works1
Related works

  • Haystack

    • software for organizing and retrieving personal information

    • Client and server architecture

Related works2
Related works

  • Google desktop

    • Retrieving local data like a web site

    • It support Google’s search engine

    • Most powerful competitor of MyLifeBits project

Guiding principles
Guiding principles

  • Collections and search must replace hierarchy for organization

  • Items may belong in more than one category

    • Ex) my favorite picture of my sister’s 14th birthday

  • Existing file system force the user to place all files in hierarchy

  • An object to be assigned to zero or collections

    • A DAG (Directory Acyclic Graph)

    • Excellent querying capability

Guiding principles1
Guiding principles

  • Many visualizations should be supported

  • There are more than one way of looking at things

  • Computer visualizations have insight into large datasets

  • Multiple visualization increase our understanding and insight of our media

  • Icon, thumbnail, graph, and slideshows

Guiding principles2
Guiding principles

  • Annotations are critical to non-text media and must be made easy

    • Images, video, and audio

  • It has little value if it is not annotated by any text

  • It may be difficult to remember what it is

  • Story are the most valuable form of annotation

    • Ex) slide shows, photo albums, video highlight reels

Guiding principles3
Guiding principles

  • Authoring should be via transclusion

  • Transclusion

    • Two-way links between the included and including media

    • Ex) Web page

  • A link indicates that one resource annotates another

  • The links are critical because they let the user find context and commentary


  • MyLifeBits is a database of resources and links

  • System overview


  • Table for SQL server database


  • Annotation

    • Easy way to annotation

    • Voice annotation / automatic annotation

  • Query result

    • Time interval

    • Including location information

Future works
Future works

  • Insuring that a memex lives forever

  • Automatic recognition of speakers, speech, sound, photos, and video

  • Control of the bits

  • Storing personal health information in memex

  • Memex as a service that would provide for community


  • MyLifeBits stores all of one’s digital data

  • They focus on scaling and performance issues

  • MyLifeBits will serve as a platform for research as they continue to study the many issues related to personal lifetime storage


  • Privacy

    • Lee wisdom’s Accident

    • Britney Jean Spear’s scandal video

    • nomination hearing

  • Taking Information Camera

    • Camera integrates the image and the object information



  • Jim Gemmell, Gordon Bell and Roger Lueder, MyLifeBits: a personal database for everything, Communications of the ACM, vol. 49, Issue 1, pp.88-95, Jan 2006.

  • Gemmell, Jim, Aris, Aleks, and Lueder, Roger, Telling Stories With MyLifeBits, ICME 2005, July 6-9 2005.

  • Gemmell, Jim, Lueder, Roger, and Bell, Gordon, The MyLifeBits Lifetime Store, ACM SIGMM 2003 Workshop on Experiential Telepresence (ETP 2003), November 7, 2003.