Field Test: The Autographer and My Memory

photo 2(2) For my field test, I wanted to find out if the Autographer could help me remember parts of my day I may have forgotten. As a busy graduate student and IA near the end of the semester, I often have quite a bit on my mind. (The Autographer is a small, wearable camera that snaps pictures on its own.)

Hypothesis: The Autographer will help me remember moments of my day.

I wore the Autographer during my activities for 24 hours, including a trip to Wegmans, a trip to Chipotle, class, doing school work in the lab, etc. Many of the people I see often wondered what I was wearing. One classmate remembered what the Autographer did and said, “You’re not taking my picture, are you?” I learned that you can’t wear the Autographer without getting some questions.

After the day was over, I looked through the pictures it took. (The Autographer has an app, and you can connect with Bluetooth to look at the pictures.) It was interesting to see what the Autographer captured and what it didn’t. I had no control over what pictures it took.

Autographer and MemoryAs I looked through the pictures, I found moments I didn’t remember. I saw my wallet in a picture and didn’t remember having it out. I didn’t recall walking by my car to get to Chipotle, but I could tell that I did in a picture. I saw people in pictures who I had talked with, and it helped me recall conversations.

I had remembered most of the “big” moments, like where I had gone, but I had forgotten some of the small moments. Many times, we can mindlessly go through portions of our days, especially routine activities. The Autographer helped to capture some of those, like my wallet out on my desk. After seeing that picture, I remembered giving a classmate money for a stamp.

The Autographer definitely helped me remember the “little” things, and it could be a useful tool for those who need help remembering their days.

That said, it is somewhat awkward to wear, and I did get several questions about it. Some people didn’t want to be captured in the pictures, so that could be an issue for those wanting to use it often. Privacy concerns with this type of technology are understandable, and privacy will probably have to be addressed as these technologies become more “mainstream.”

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