Microsoft has licensed its SenseCam technology to UK-based Vicon Motion Systems, so that the company can manufacture the device as a memory aid. Worn around the neck, the forward-facing lens of the Vicon Revue snaps a few photos every minute and stores them on the internal memory. The shots can then be used later to help those suffering from recall problems to piece together life events.

Microsoft has been working with a number of clinicians and university researchers over the past five years to learn more about how its SenseCam technology can be used to help those with memory problems. In one such study at the UK's Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, a woman with severe memory impairment found that looking through images captured by the technology improved her recall of events. Encouraged by early results such as this, the Redmond giant has licensed its technology for manufacture as the Vicon Revue.

The 65 x 70 x 17mm (2.55 x 2.75 x 0.66-inch), 94g (3.31oz) device captures whatever is in front of the wearer through a wide-angle lens, taking a couple or three shots every minute or so to effortlessly create a visual account of where you've been and what you've been up to. The photos are recorded to 2GB of onboard memory until the user loads them into a computer running the supplied photo viewing software, via mini-USB.

The Revue features a temperature sensor, infrared motion detector, multi-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer (compass). There's a privacy button that temporarily halts the snapping so that wearers are not caught on camera in embarrassing situations, such as going to the toilet. The battery is said to offer 12 hours of continued use, and is recharged in about two hours.

While Vicon Motion Systems sees its main market being those who require visual memory aids (it could well have saved Guy Pearce's character in the film Memento a whole lot of tattoo pain), it will also suit the personal user who wants to create a blow-by-blow event log or time-lapse video for blogs or social networking sites.

However, carrying a price tag of GBP500 (US$775), the Revue may be priced out of the autobiographical-photo-diary domain by the likes of Looxcie.

The latter is a good deal cheaper and benefits from more onboard memory, wireless data transfer and is able to capture and playback real-time – as opposed to time-lapse – video. Being worn over the ear, it's also more likely to record everything that the wearer sees rather than just what's in front of them.

Via Popular Science