Google Is Working On Making Your Actual Life Searchable

By: Chris Crum - February 25, 2013

Last summer, we took a look at how Google plans to see through your eyes (literally). This has a lot to do with Google Glass, but that’s not the only piece of the puzzle.

Do you like the direction Google is going in? Is it getting too up close and personal, or is it taking the necessary steps to make users’ lives easier? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Google Glass will not only be pushing content in front of your eyeballs. It will be capturing the very things you see. This became clear when Google co-founder Sergey Brin shared a feature he was testing, which automatically takes pictures every ten seconds “without any distraction or disruption”.

“Afterwards, I checked Instant Upload to see how the images had turned out and this one really caught my eye – I love the composition of the landscape mixed with sunlight and the beauty of the sky,” Brin said, sharing the below image. “I never would have captured this moment without Glass.”

Brin captures a moment.

So, it’s not too heard to imagine Google doing a lot more with this kind of technology, including video. A patent Google has been granted, may help the company take it significantly further than that though. Patent analyst Bill Slawski points to the patent, granted to Google last week, called “Method and Apparatus for Enabling a Searchable History of Real-World User Experiences”.

Here’s the abstract:

A method and apparatus for enabling a searchable history of real-world user experiences is described. The method may include capturing media data by a mobile computing device. The method may also include transmitting the captured media data to a server computer system, the server computer system to perform one or more recognition processes on the captured media data and add the captured media data to a history of real-world experiences of a user of the mobile computing device when the one or more recognition processes find a match. The method may also include transmitting a query of the user to the server computer system to initiate a search of the history or real-world experiences, and receiving results relevant to the query that include data indicative of the media data in the history of real-world experiences.

The patent makes specific mention of glasses.


“Imagine recording your life, so that you can search through it, and play it back later,” writes Slawski. “Things that you record through audio and video might be sent to your own personal search database where pictures you take might be processed. Images of faces may go through facial recognition software. Landmarks and objects might also be recognized as well.”

He suggests you’ll be able to write or speak queries like “What was the playlist of songs at the party last night?” or “Who were the people at the business lunch this afternoon?” or “What were the paintings I saw when I was on vacation in Paris?”

I would imagine that the possibilities are endless, as Google gets better at both recognizing faces and objects and at natural language.

It seems the functionality described in the patent could apply to recording, which users could switch on and off, as well as to recording that could begin automatically upon certain events, such as if you entered a certain location. Sounds like some Google Now-like features would be incorporated.

Google Now, by the way, is in its very early stages, and has already seen its fourth update, now adding more movie features, and the ability to bring up real estate info (based on location) as you enter properties on the market.

Slawski also points out that the patent indicates Google could take advantage of the technology for location-based recording (like where it’s set to turn on at specific locations, “such as upon entering Google’s headquarters”), and allows for an “always on” system, where “a wearer doesn’t have to initiate the capture of media”.

You can read the full patent here.

It’s important to note that just because Google has a patent for something, that does not mean we will see any or all of the features described. However, in this case, considering the direction Google is already taking with its products, much of this seems very likely.

And just wait until Google finds a way to make Google Glass more fashionable.

Do you want to see Google make your actual life more searchable or is this starting to go too far? Let us know what you think.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • Rank Watch

    Google is certainly the only innovator by far in the online search and now even concentrating on actual life search with its Google glass hardware is what makes them stand apart. The more data that an user is willing to give to Google, the more personalized and relevant will be the result the user is going to get without their privacy getting affected.

    • Chris Crum

      It will be quite interesting to see how many people they can get wearing Glass. Perhaps, like the diagram, we’ll see some that look like normal glasses.

  • Robert

    my searchable life… oh, no. What the stupidity. Find that technology another purpose.

  • Gordie

    Google sucks.

  • Bill

    It’s time for national privacy legislation with teeth. Google has become evil, just as is Facebook. The people who run it them deceitful, and untrustworthy with the data they seek through Google+ and the Facebook timeline. Young people should wake up to the reality of corporate America. Capitalism has no morals; no conscience. Need more be said?

  • ibrahim

    There goes our privacy….
    I don’t like the technology google is inventing…

  • Moin Ramiz

    Google guys are always doing something big and amazing :)

    • Bakery Skokie

      Years ago, we had our Christmas get together at my aunt’s house. We went to church, we got home, there’s food on the table.

      As soon as we’re done eating, my aunt puts a VCR and invites us all to watch. It’s us, getting to church 3 hours earlier. Her son (my cousin) had been filming.

      My aunt and a few other people watched the whole thing… even themselves watching themselves.

      In other words, you’re quite right. It’s possible and people will pay.

  • WAHM

    Next they’ll be selling your life as the next “reality show”. And I’m sure all they’ll have to do to get people to bite on this is offer them something free. “Free High Speed internet access with every pair of Google Glasses!”

  • Vernon

    This is going way too far. Absolutely frightening the potential of this system. Way too far. Only a fool would consider this to be an advancement.

  • Janet

    The pioneers who use Glasses are going to discover potential not yet thought of. There really is no way of knowing where this could go, for good, bad or indifferent. Since we all live way below our potential, maybe that’s what scares us.

    I’m jealous of the crew that gets a free ticket to test out Glasses in a sky dive….

  • Alex

    Would it not be nicer to be ON that holiday (etc.) and really experience it than rely on some glasses to capture the moment for later review???
    If one ran that technology ‘fulltime’ it be like – spend 1/3 of your life living and the other 2/3 editing and reviewing… If you want to share in other people’s recordings the time you have to ‘live”for real’ might go down to 1/4 or 1/5?
    Plus there is the privacy issues….All the recorded info would probably have to be ‘held’ in a cloud somewhere, i.e. on a Google server. But then again, which e.g. goverment department would have the time and resources to review it all? Maybe it is the way to perfect privacy as complete data ‘overload’?
    All in all it is just a mini camera that does all the work for you (and leaves you with tons of editing work). Another tool to automate ones life. I for one actually like to ‘do’ something things in my life though (like ‘consciously’ taking pictures). Complete automatation of my life would leave me bored and probably would not be the best for my sense of self-worth either…

  • Micheline

    The unintended consequences are huge along with the potential for its abuse. Having this technology for your own personal and private consumption is one thing but giving it to Google for use by their descretion is quite another.

    The phrase “Mobile computing device” seems to leave it wide open for Google to put this on all devices, not just glasses that are easier to opt out of then your phone, tablet or laptop.

  • Marie

    Why doesn’t Google take some of that money they are spending testing new inventions and put it toward something USEFUL like the Humane Society, Starving Children, Abused Women & Children, etc…

    • Jill

      I will second that!

      All this Big Brother stuff just leaves me feeling we have moved too far away from what really matters in life.

      • Marie

        AMEN Jill!

        If we lost a loved one to Cancer (and I have), how important would it be that we captured the drive on the way to the funeral? Take your millions of dollars and donate it to Cancer Research (or a least a portion of it)!

  • Sam Nink

    What if you already wear glasses and what are the long term effects on the eyeballs? Lot a good a searchable visual life becomes when you end up blind.

  • Bryan

    They need to concentrate on realtime search first. They are a long way from that. No ballgame scores. No amber alerts. Hardly any realtime information comes up in Google search, when you know it’s being posted all over the web.

  • Vlad

    How is this patentable? The glasses, yes….but the notion of recording and saving then retrieving the information? Every hear of photo albums and home video? Every hear of storytelling? How about a personal log or diary? This is just a re-do of the same using newer technology coupled with search. The notion that mega corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook can patent this sort of stuff is getting absurd.

  • James

    Definitely going too far!! Everybody from the government to private organizations, to individual James Bond wannabies who think it’s cool to spy on others with easily attainable (and affordable) electronic bugging equipment want to poke their nose into your private life these days…and it’s getting worse. We need to put a stop to this “privacy invasion” ASAP. Never mind that it’s immoral, illegal and heinous. And all for the bottom line! Society is on a slippery slope to oblivion.

  • Keith


  • geoio

    We could have thousands of different opinions (for myself I prize my private life), but the fact is that Google has the resources and the willing to invent. Glasses will evolve, at this stage we can only guess.

  • Bob Teal

    Hail Google! Everyone wants to see my life for sure. HAHAHA

  • Kyores Calhoun

    I love how people are screaming “Oh no, my privacy!” like Google are going to tie them down and screw the Google Glass to their head with no consent.

  • Fred

    “So, it’s not too heard to imagine” ? Spellcheckers are not infallible Chris !! ;-))

    • Jill

      LOL! :)

  • camfers

    I believe Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror series (last year) gave us a rather scary drama featuring this technology. It’s all fine until you have something you want to keep private…

  • Eric John Naea

    Seems like lawyers will soon have a field day with this one…

  • Sylvia


    I certain agree with all WHO say “this goes to far !”

    Life already became a “dead kind thing” for masses.. WHO LIVING sadly a technical and computer life … not able anymore to see and enjoying NATURE and REALITY Interaction with REAL-LIFE-PEOPLE !!


    WHO win’s… WHO get the most control… WHO make the most Profit…and so on !

    WHO lose…? the “normal” People, the Freedom, the Nature Rights
    and much more !!!

    It is burning TIME to wake up and NOT let a FEW on TOP take control over masses People for there EGO and Profits !
    … Governments, Religions and other Self-Made-Gurus already try to watching ever steps and controlling as .. NOW is it not far from Science Fiction Movies.. to want making as all to “programmed brain dead Robots” where we have NO Freedom at all anymore about OUR OWN LIFE …????

    hehe..! this has to stop really !

    Computer and Internet is a good thing.. BUT IT GET MORE AND MORE USED IN NEGATIVE WAYS … !

    … how much Freedom we will in Future having still….
    ….much as a Dog on a short line …?
    Or will be a Dog on a Rob the lucky one..???

  • Frank

    All the more reason to keep your information as private as possible. Does Google think this won’t help Identity thieves?

  • App; Not Patent

    Once again the media has failed to properly distinguish between an issued patent and a patent application.

    This is an application; the claims of which are subject to patent office rejection.

    It is not a patent.

    Big difference.

  • ELLE

    Just in short…my feeling and opinion on this would be that I personally wouldn’t want my life ‘searchable’ to a further degree than it can be searched already…I hope this doesn’t ‘cross the line’ into ‘invading’ people’s privacy, etc….example: If they’re gonna ‘search’ into somebody’s life…that person should be able to click on a button somewhere, cyberly, and give permission as to whether they want their life/details, etc ‘searched’ or not. etc!

  • Tommy

    this thing is dream of any government & thieves, insert dvd or just get access to google acc. and see all your life in detail, how you love to have sex, what you do from morning, where you like to go, what the type of girls you like, etc.

  • Jenny

    In the beginning there was Google, and it was good. And we had Yahoo and MickeySoft as alternatives who foistered us with ads, and then Google came along, a plain and simple and highly effective search engine.

    Then Google got greedy. The End.

    Whereas in the past I would have sung the praises of Google I now find I am in constant battle with an overgrown, monopolising, self-seeking organisation who wants to be SPY on my life.

    Google is a giant, we are just little people. Hmmm, we are the “little people” who made Google. It’s time for a rebellion.

    I encourage everyone to make life as difficult for Google as humanly possible.

    • Yuri

      You can always stop using Google. It’s not like anybody holding a gun to your head.

  • Mabuzi

    It is the future get used to it. You info is on file, your photos are in the database, its way too late for you privacy complaint wayyyyy tooo late especially that its owned by private enterprise.

  • Todd

    Illuminati control freeks

  • Mark Braggins

    Sounds similar to Memoto:
    There are lots of positives, but can’t help but be a bit concerned about privacy – what about those who don’t wish to be filmed? Automatic filming takes away choice from subjects.

    • Jill

      I agree that privacy is a concern – and the possibility of law enforcement/government using this information. We should absolutely be given the choice and I do not like the idea of automatic recording.

  • Paolo

    Anyone remembering a 1995 science fiction movie, “Strange Days”, by Kathryn Bigelow?

  • John Duff

    haha..:) Google is working on everything to store and search.. Let’s take and example Google Maps, Google Glasses, Connectivity Car concept, and now making our real lives searchable. Oh my Damn Technology, So what the heck a human being has to do remember? Not even about himself???

  • Martin9325

    I honestly cannot think of anything worse than being able to search back through my life experiences, but then again I never take photographs or video anything so maybe I am not typical.

  • Chennai Seo

    Google is trying to bring about what exactly the visitors want but unfortunately webmasters are doing every activities to overcome it and thereby hindering the exact search results.

  • Ken

    Just show me how to avoid them. Google should be outlawed. We are beyond fixing it by breaking it up.

  • Kathy


  • Lindsay

    Wish we’d had these back in the 70’s; I might remember some of it. Then again, maybe it’s better if some things are allowed to be forgotten …

    • Jill

      For years, I have thought (and discussed) how amazing it would be to have every moment of our lives recorded, so that years from now, we could re-visit our happiest times and re-live moments with loved ones who are no longer with us. And now that I see that it may be coming to fruition – I share the sentiment that I wish this technology would have been available in the 70s!

  • Nina

    Interesting! I will like to see the detail working for these “Google’s glasses”

  • popkidd

    download hottest applications

  • Renee Marie Jones

    Insurance companies will love this. Anytime they have to pay off a claim, they just have to search your life until they find something, *anything* that violates their 200-page contracts.

    Anyone who wants to sue you will have a field day, too. And the government. Want to destroy someone’s life? Just search through everything they have done, every day of their lives, until you find something that violates some contract or some law.

    Google? Whatever happened to “don’t be evil?” You are trying to bring on the ultimate police surveillance state!

  • Teddy

    Just imagine how the gov’mnt will use all recorded video/audio information *against* you and your loves ones.

    See everything from their viewpoint. You’ll be like a clueless, walking, talking recorder.

    Creepy eh?

    • jack sprat

      The government, any government, is only an inefficient mediator between Owners and their livestock.

  • anon

    Why do the car dash and hands/arms look CGI?

  • jack sprat

    This situation was envisioned in a SF story, perhaps 30 years ago. Everyone wore Guy Fawkes masques, 24/7/365.

  • //n/ radford

    George Orwell (“1984″) would LOVE this!!
    I forsee nothing but trouble with this technology ; ie, when the “creep$” get hold of this … look out !!

  • //n/ radford

    My life is MINE! Google / government / anybody else knows where “they” can go & how to get there!

  • vps

    This blog is great. I realy love it!