Microsoft Wants to Back Up Your Brain

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Imagine being able to store every second of your life on a computer and then calling up digital snapshots of individual moments with a quick search. If Gordon Bell, the head of Microsoft's Media Presence Research Group has his way, this technology could become a reality. The idea behind MyLifeBits or "surrogate memory" as Bell has dubbed it, is that people should be concerned with living life, not "maintaining our memory systems."

MyLifeBits consists of a "Sense Cam" developed by Microsoft that takes pictures when it senses that the user may want a photo, sound recording equipment and a complicated software program that can help the user recall information using simple keywords. According to the researchers, a 1TB hard drive could easily hold all of the text documents, voice files and photos over the course of a person's life —but would only be able to store four hours of video a day for a year. Naturally, that reality wouldn't make MyLifeBits very cost effective in a more complicated form. It may be just as well though, do you really want video floating around of that time you got drunk and hit on that dude with long hair?