Chronicle Wrap-Up

a cartoon of how chronicle integrates into the services campaign

The Chronicle project was part of the Horizon Services Campaign. It was a cross-cutting project intended to develop a middle-ware platform to support the aims and objectives of four of the other Service Campaign projects; namely: Panopticon, Hybrid Gifting, In My Seat, and Memory Machine. As is the nature with dynamic research projects, some projects made lesser use of the Chronicle platform whilst others made greater use. To wrap up we will finish by describing how Chronicle was used in two of the service campaign projects.

Panopticon utilised the Chronicle platform for storing experiential data from people playing video games that enabled them to then share that data with a 3rd party. Users were invited to play a video game, during which their facial expressions were algorithmically analysed to determine their emotional states during game-play. This analysis data was stored in Chronicle with a unique identifier that the user was given. At the end of this experience, the experiential data was used to generate a souvenir that the user could take away with them. They were also optionally given the choice to take away their data, destroy it, or ‘gift’ it to the experimenters in order to use for future analytical work.

Hybrid Gifting utilised the Chronicle platform to associate digital content with physical gift cards that could be passed on to a recipient and the digital content accessed by that recipient. The project held two gift card making workshops where the participants were tasked with making physical gift cards that incorporated a unique identifier from Chronicle. Amongst the available options for embedding the codes were RFID tags and Artcodes. Digital content could then be associated in Chronicle with these unique identifiers and a phone application could be used to scan the identifiers and retrieve the digital content by the recipient of the physical card.

Chronicle is open source and links to the source code and documentation can be found on the Chronicle website at

My Memory Machine

A collection of filing boxes with a post-it note that reads "Dominic's little bits from the past"

In one of those odd cases of Universal synchronicity, as I was struggling to write a blog about memory, my parents arrived the weekend just gone, bearing boxes of my ‘childhood memories’ that they had been saving for me and now wanted me to go through. As I write this blog, those boxes sit next to me on the desk, unopened. I expect for many people their immediate reaction would have been to dive straight in and revel in the nostalgia. For me though, my approach to memory seems to be much more about caution. I’m wary of what emotions a memory might trigger, will I be embarrassed? will I feel sad? Chances are that the feelings evoked will be pleasant ones but I prefer to be in control, to stabilise myself beforehand and to look through when I feel ready. It could be weeks before I get around to going through the boxes.

Although I suspect that this may be the minority approach to memory, I also suspect that it is far from uncommon. In relating my own personal perspective on memory to the Memory Machine, I can see that technology is increasingly becoming an important gatekeeper to memory. Take for example social media platforms such as Facebook, so much of our daily lives are now being stored on these; and these platforms are also taking advantage of these memories, a common feature is to highlight an ‘on this day’ memory. Yet, not always are these memories wanted, a reminder of a bereavement or break-up are quite common; not all memories are equal, they can be important whilst still being negative. It will be interesting in the Memory Machine workshops, and the development of the technology, to see these tensions discussed and see the role that technology can play in safeguarding both memory and an individual’s emotional state.

Dominic Price, Research Fellow, Horizon Digital Economy Research