Microsofts SenseCam Sees All

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2005-03-28 Print this article Print

The wearable recording device uses a variety of detectors to capture a profile of a person's activities and could be used for in-home elder care and tourism.

With compact, low-cost sensors and capacious memory, "Were getting to a point where we can store everything that happens to a person." That was the opening observation by Microsoft Senior Vice President Rick Rashid, formerly the director of Microsoft Research, at this months OReilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego.

Rashid discussed a Microsoft project called SenseCam, a wearable recording device that uses a variety of detectors to capture a profile of a persons activities. Triggered by global-positioning measurements, infrared sensors, gesture recognition and other event signatures, the prototype typically captures 2,000 images during a 12-hour period.

Click here to read more about SenseCam.
Various forms of sensor fusion improve overall performance: The moving device can wait, for example, for a moment of relative stillness after a trigger event before it takes a photo.

In-home elder care and tourism, Rashid suggested, are among the applications for such a device.

More information is at

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Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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