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Thanks for the memory

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Abstract

This paper reports the trial of a memory prosthesis, SenseCam, as a resource for digital narratives. Over a period of one week, six participants were asked to use SenseCams to capture digital traces of their experiences, and to use the same to create 'story telling' materials for presentation. The study found that all users delighted in the devices, though the traces that the SenseCams produced were not analogues to their own memory. Instead, the data traces presented a picture of daily life which was at once different to the one recollected by participants and yet brought a sense of wonder, depth and felt-life that was enriching. Furthermore, SenseCam data enabled participants to create artistic and evocative stories about prosaic activities that would not normally merit being recounted. The paper will comment on the implications these findings have for memory prosthesis device design, and on the epistemological assumptions underscoring them. © 2007 Harper, et al.