Just a few months have passed since families awoke on Christmas morning and unwrapped their brand new fitness trackers. This latest obsession contributed to the Fitbit mobile app charging to the top of Apple's app charts on Christmas day.

As users strapped the devices to their wrists, many were blissfully unaware that they were also automatically enrolling to a membership of the Quantified Self movement by searching for self-knowledge through numbers.

The gathering of personal data such as daily steps, heart rate, blood pressure, weight, diet, sleep patterns and other behavioral activities can now even be fed into our own dashboards. If we can improve all aspects of a website's success by analyzing data on Google Analytics, is it really that much of a stretch to improve our health by tweaking our lifestyle habits based on personal data?

Lifelogging is not all about fitness trackers and health apps. Many are also going to great lengths to document their entire lives, or even create their own artistic digital autobiography thanks to wearable cameras.

The success of Instagram has given birth to a whole new genre of staged photos in an attempt to display a perfectly edited and glamorized portrayal of our lives. Selfie sticks and camera filters are already beginning to feel clichéd, and users are starting to turn their back on this medium of contrived perfection.

The makers of the Narrative Clip wearable camera are hoping to provide an antidote to the modern photo-taking condition with the release of the second generation of their device. The original captured a 5MP image every thirty seconds throughout the day, allowing lifeloggers to document their daily lives in the most natural way possible.

The highly anticipated second generation offering, rather unimaginatively named Narrative Clip 2, is finally starting to ship after months of delays. It's armed with an upgraded 8MP camera that also allows 1080p HD video clips--a new feature--by just double tapping the tiny device, which has a respectable 8GB of storage.

Transforming your daily routine into a time lapse by simply attaching a small camera to your clothing is an excellent idea in principle. But I can't help but think it will run into the same issues as Google Glass as we become more protective of invading other people's privacy in public places.

I got to try the Narrative Clip 2. My family and friends initially greeted my new toy with a certain amount of intrigue and enthusiasm. This changed with the realization that it would be taking a photo of everything in front of me throughout our conversation. They soon felt uncomfortable.

Documenting your 9-5 daily grind in the office is rarely going to reveal exciting footage--and will probably just land you in hot water with your HR department.

But, forgetting about posing or taking photos could be the Narrative Clip 2's biggest strength. It could be perfect for naturally capturing moments of a special occasion.

A photographic diary of that once-in-a-lifetime trip is another appealing aspect of this tiny wearable device. Who is aimed at? Maybe, it's simply the perfect alternative for tech snobs who feel an inner rage building when thinking about the vulgarity of standing in Times Square with a selfie-stick.

The biggest issue with the Narrative Clip 2 has been the somewhat sub-par battery life. After charging, you can switch the device off by placing in a dark pocket or putting face down on a surface. Despite my following these simple instructions, the clip continued to drain the battery meaning by the time I came to use the camera, it was flat again.

Early adopters will be no stranger to experiences like this with buying gadgets as soon as they are released. Full credit must be given to the team at Narrative for releasing the new v1.0 firmware to tackle the battery issues that have significantly improved performance.

At $199, the Narrative Clip 2 will not appeal to everyone. But if you are ready to embrace the world of lifelogging and don't mind wading through a few thousand photos of your life each night, then this will most definitely be the perfect product for you.


Mar 3, 2016