Dumbledore’s Pensieve, IRL

Do you remember/know about Dumbledore’s Pensieve in Harry Potter? It’s a device where you can store all your memory, and examine them later, for when you have important memory that you fear you will lose, or when you are overwhelmed by the amount of memory you are holding.

It would be really cool if we can have something like that for memorable moments or information that will later need to be recalled.

Can it be done with the help of technology? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a digital copy of all your memory?

Imagine going back 7 years from now, and experience sitting in the first Grade 8 class again. Imagine going through breaking up with that @^%$^%@ ^%@$^#@ again, without the s/he chasing you down the street part. Imagine going back to the lecture 2 weeks ago, to hear from the prof again when the assignment is due. Imagine someone finding you dead on the sidewalk and playback your memory to see what happened.

Without ever having to consciously “start recording” and “stop recording”. Just like memory, it will be continuous.

Possibilities are endless.

Can we make a device like that?

The sci-fi way would be to build something that reads your mind, and store it in digital form. Too bad we don’t live in 2050.

The way I brainstormed is to use a tiny camera (like the kind used in secret¬†surveillance), a microphone, a small lithium polymer battery, and a small PCB carrying a low power microcontroller connected to a MicroSD card. I’m fairly confident the whole thing can be built to fit in something around the size of a bluetooth headset (which actually contains most of the same parts).

If we build a device like that, and fix it on to, for example, glasses, we can record everything we see and hear. Will just have to periodically transfer the video from the SD card to a computer for encoding+storage (modern small microcontrollers don’t have enough power to do real time encoding).

What do you think? It appears like all the technologies are ready –¬†miniature cameras, high density solid state storage, low power microcontrollers, high density lightweight battery (something like 1 cell lithium polymer), and cheap mass storage (harddrives or blue-ray discs). Just that no one has built it yet for some reason.

Maybe I will build it some time, soon. Technically it is not too difficult, but there’s obviously still a lot of thinking to do (creepiness factor, etc).