Microsoft working on a new software is no surprise, but their latest project is not the usual kind of software. Lifebrowser, as its being called will allow allows users to keep track of their life. According to the Technology Review by MIT, the software is said to collect data and carefully categorize, not by type, but by time. The software is said to go through emails, photos documents and your web browser history and make a timeline of all the events, as they’ve happened. The software then lets you browse through time and look at key events. Now, the concept of data mining has been around for a while in businesses, but Lifebrowser should bring the same kind of functionality to the end user at home.
Eric Horvitz, one of the key scientists working on the Lifebrowser project said that he hoped to make desktop computers smart, by looking at your past and making it easy for you to access information. Technology Review had a chance to witness a demonstration of the software and it currently looks like a crude version of Facebook’s new Timeline feature. There’s also control over how these key events and landmarks are displayed – users get to control it using a volume-control like switch on the software. The software is still very closed and close friends of Horvitz have been able to use it. The feedback from them is positive.
The software looks at a number of things smartly, with the data it finds. For example, it looks at the creation dates and if the file was modified later. It looks at images and whether the user used a flash – if he did, it may have been an outdoor photo. Photos shot over a short period would be part of a major event – say a birthday party. While Facebook requires you to manually enter the events, Lifebrowser should be able to tag those events for you automatically. You and me won’t get to use the software for a while, though. The project is still in research and it’ll be a while before the general public gets to use it.