Onlife, Nintendo Wii and traces of interaction
It's been several weeks that I am hooked on using Onlife, a very simple application that tracks and help you to visualizes traces of your interaction with Mac applications.
Onlife is an application f or the Mac OS X that observes your every interaction with apps such as Safari, Mail and iChat and then creates a personal shoebox of all the web pages you visit, emails you read, documents you write and much more. Onlife then indexes the contents of your shoebox, makes it searchable and displays all the interactions between you and your favorite apps over time.
For instance, yesterday's patterns are quite clear:
Why do I blog this? the notion of "traces of interaction" is very trendy lately, I see it popping up everywhere: about blogjects, in educational technologies (how to use past interactions to fed back users and make them learn? why not using AI techniques such as cased-based reasoning to meet this end?)... This is also an approach favored by Nintendo with the "Wii play history": the Wii indeed automatically records details of what game was played. Users are then able to see the record of how long they played which games.
Now, some might be wondering, what would the potential usage of such applications? To me onlife is interesting to see my work patterns (my web browser is a very important tool that I used in conjunction with my text editor) and eventually adjust my behavior (time to shut down my IM client?). But what else? A problem here might be that those applications are too limited to make sense, a lot of stuff that we do are not logged... and eventually a tremendous problem here is... privacy...