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Crowdfunding campaigns generally work best for hardware projects — likely because software has a hard job replicating the appeal of getting an actual, physical thing in your hands in exchange for a donation. But people do still attempt to fund apps this way, even if success stories are (relatively) few and far between.
Step forward lifelogging data-visualisation app Storica, whose creators have turned to Kickstarter to try to raise £50,000 to extend their Android app from mobile to the desktop as a fully-fledged platform. Storica Desktop will work in conjunction with the mobile app but allow users to look back through all the data they have lifelogged via a blog-style interface — with each recording become a blog entry.
This interface will allow logged content to be more easily viewed, searched and shared, say creators Dirk Trossen of the University of Cambridge, and Dana Pavel of the University of Essex. They intend to use WordPress as the underlying platform for Storica Desktop, to allow for WordPress platform plugins to be integrated with their software platform.
Storica Desktop will also function as another data source, giving lifeloggers the option to record additional information pertaining to their desktop usage should they wish to do so — such as which applications are opened most often, and which web pages they have visited. This is in addition to the information harvested from use of the Storica mobile app. (That mobile app actually utilises another lifelogging Android app made by the same developers — called AIRS, released back in 2011.
The desktop platform will also be “extensible”, according to the project creators — “allowing for integrating data sources as they become available on your desktop but also including Internet-hosted devices (such as the FitBit One or the Withings Pulse)”.
There’s no doubt £50,000 is an ambitious figure for a software project to raise via crowdfunding, especially as lifelogging is not exactly a mass market phenomenon right now — the AIRS app has apparently had circa 12,000 downloads since release — so it will be interesting to see whether Storica’s creators can spark enough interest to achieve their target.
If successful they hope to be able to release the desktop platform in December. Desktop users will have pay a monthly subscription fee (starting at £1.99) to be able to record data to the platform — but will still be able to view any previously recorded data, regardless of whether their subscription has lapsed.