“A life recorder that may be this century’s wrist watch” – cir. 1945

This morning, I read a post by Michael Arrington about a “a small device that you wear on a necklace that takes photos every few seconds of whatever is around you, and records sound all day long.”

Mike’s essay made me think of a long-ago point to a story about Microsoft’s “MyLIfeBits” project led by Gordon Bell. The project was viewed as having a direct link back to the work of Vannevar Bush, whose 1945 essay the Atlantic Monthly, As We May Think (synopsis), laid out (among other things) the idea of “an electromechanical device” called the Memex that does, well, just about everything Mike describes in his essay.

In other words, like most hard-to-image new things, the idea for “this century’s wrist watch” has been around for 65 years. (Dick Tracy watches and flying cars have also been around as long.)