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A video collage of the first times you met everyone you ever knew

Image credit: Pierce Marrs blog / Adobe Stock

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 05, 2022
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Imagine watching a collage video of the first times you met every person in your life. The clips of first encounters would play back-to-back, in chronological order.
Not many people would be willing to commit to a lifelong lifestyle of wearable cameras. Some would.
  • At the very least this would be entertaining to watch. Both for the main protagonist and anyone that knows what the video/story is about.
  • Re-watch the first time you met your loved ones.
  • This video collection would be a treasure in old age when the memories fade.
How it works
This is not for everyone. Not many people would have the discipline/commitment to follow through from birth. If the project lasted from birth, people would need help from their parents to get them started.
For those that have what it takes there are various ways of going about it. The one that might get the least amount of pushback from society is if someone first starts recording these videos as an art collection.
There are people that commit to decades long projects. For example, here is a guy that takes a photo of himself every day, for 20 years. I imagine this video means the most to the guy in it, but judging by the number of views on that video, people find the project worthy of their time. There are others that had some help from their parents to get their streak started. I imagine that people in both examples will continue the streak until they die. I would:)
Lifestyle with wearable cameras
You never know when you are going to meet someone. If you want authentic first-meeting videos, you need to record everything, before it happens. This would require a lifelong commitment. A lifestyle of wearable cameras and batteries. This would be like Truman's show from first person's view, minus the streaming.
You also never know which angle the next person you meet will come from, so a 360 or at least 180 degrees camera would be suitable.
When the technology advances the cameras would get smaller and higher quality. The batteries would get lighter and stronger.
People have attempted live streaming of their lives (lifecasting) before.
I imagine a commitment like this wouldn't be too hard for someone who tapped into their OCD to keep them going. Video sorting/editing would take a toll on someone's time.
Tags and classifications of people
If you took the time and classified each person by how close you are, and sorted them in various categories, the software could create different collages:
  • how you met all the people you love
  • everyone that had a decisive impact on your life
  • everyone that brought business opportunities
  • everyone that you trust
  • everyone that trusts you
  • etc
Capturing moments worthy of remembering
Since you're recording everything anyway, you might as well sort/save different events. Not just first meetings.
After something important just unfolded, the camera wearer should have an easy way to bookmark the event as important, to be editer/reviewed/categorized later. I imagine something like pressing a button on the camera and adding a voice memo that gets transcribed into text and sent to your sorting software along with the video section.
When you have time, you sit down at your workstation and go through the videos. When you're done editing/taging the video gets saved in the cloud forever. People pre-pay the cloud storage for years in advance. If they find it valuable, their children and grand children can someday pay to keep the cloud going.
Privacy, security, and legality
I understand that this would be a nightmare from the perspective of other people's privacy. Unauthorized access to this sounds like big brother's wet dreams.
I don't have a solution for this concern. Maybe things will drastically change in the future and this won't be an issue anymore. For now, whoever goes for this project will probably need to get everyone's consent. This could be an interesting conversation opener.
Creative contributions

Simplified version

Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jan 11, 2022
I agree with Povilas S that the footage needed would be quite an obstacle. But perhaps even an app where you simply enter the details of every new person you meet could be cool. This way, you would have a registry of everyone you meet including specifications you might like to add like "where" or "how" or even perhaps your first impression.
Not only would this be a fun way to keep track of everyone you meet, but committing their details to the app would most likely also help you remember their names.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
Facebook could have this additional feature where users agree to share their cross-sectional information with other users. So, if your privacy filter is on, others won't be able to look at your profile. However, their profile tags you with a date and time you first met and saves the data throughout. Even if you are not friends on Facebook, that timestamp stays with the profile pictures of the day you two met. You can add additional details to the stamp, like where you met and for what reason. This information is not visible to the other users.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
plus you would know the exact anniversaries to celebrate with those that end up becoming your close friends
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Other ways to achieve this

Povilas S
Povilas S Jan 06, 2022
Even though filming would convey the most realistic experience, there are ways to "record" first meetings after they have happened. You could use your memory and ask an artist to help you recreate the experience as suggested here.
Also, people usually tend to make at least some pictures and sometimes also videos during their first meetings, especially if they "vibe" with the newly met person well. Those would help recreate such memories, you could recreate the whole experience using a few pictures and your memory and turn it into a virtual reality representation, a 3D model, an animated movie, etc. Many of such approaches were discussed in this idea session.
Regarding your idea about wearable cameras, in order to reduce manual work for editing the videos, grouping people, etc., the software could recognize and remember first meetings automatically, this would require AI algorithms to do the job, but it seems a fairly easy task for the algorithm to distinguish a new person from those you've already met by simply checking the database of faces already present in past videos from the wearable camera.
Regarding the privacy issues with wearable cameras, - If you'd have to request every person their consent to be filmed when first meeting them, there is no way you'd be able to catch the authentic first moments of the meeting with a camera, every first meeting would then start with asking for consent which removes the point of the idea. The above-mentioned alternative ways of "recording" first meetings have fewer (if any) privacy issues and therefore solve the latter problem.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
About the consent - you would first record everything, then ask people for consent to keep the clip for your project because you are <enter story here>.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Darko Savic Then if they didn't agree you'd have to delete that bit of footage where they are present and also convince them you're not keeping a backup somewhere. That's why usually consent is taken before recording a person through any means.
I was doing ethnographic interviews with rural people and it was a headache to follow all the official privacy requirements of the project, one wouldn't be able to do the job properly if they followed them, so we usually hid the voice recorders in our pockets and turned them on before, but this is not exactly "legal".
Walking around with a wearable camera you'd inevitably record many people without their consent.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Povilas S I remember Jackass in the old days used to take people's consent after they already recorded the footage. I'm not sure about the legality, but if that worked for them, it might be legal.
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Public CCTV cameras could be of use for this

Povilas S
Povilas S Jan 07, 2022
I was thinking that CCTV cameras that are now present in many public places in cities and almost all business establishments could be utilized for this. Of course, the quality of those footages is bad and the filming angle also isn't convenient, but this "solves" the privacy issue, cause people are filmed without their consent anyway.
If you happened to meet someone in a public place for the first time, with CCTV cameras present around, you two could request that part of the footage where your meeting is recorded, I think people would be interested to watch this even on CCTV footage. There could be a company providing such services.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Also, CCTV cameras are getting better in quality. Plus AI algorithms can improve the video quality of old footage
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