Datarella People: Dan Berglund, Senior Developer at Narrative

Here’s the transcript of the Datarella (DR) interview with Dan Berglund of Stockholm-based life-logging startup Narrative.

DR
At the Quantified Self Conference 2014 in Amsterdam, we’re together with Dan Berglund from Swedish startup Narrative. Dan, could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about Narrative?

Dan
Sure. I work as a Software Engineer at Narrative, a software and hardware company which makes a very tiny mobile camera that takes photos of everything you see. Photos are taken every 30 seconds, then they’re aggregated and we show you a meaningful representation of your data life.

DR
You’re wearing a narrative camera. Could you show it to us and explain what this camera does in comparison with a typical camera?

Dan
Yes. Here it is. It’s working automatically – so you wear it at your shirt or jacket, and it takes photos every 30 seconds. If you want to turn it off, you just put it into your pocket. Then we offer a service, which is connected with the camera: it aggregates all photos and tries to find the best ones by grouping together similar photos. So at the end, you have a diary of your life.

DR
What is the typical use case for the narrative? To automatically shoot photos during parties?

Dan
Sure – that would be one use case: special occasions like parties or when people are travelling. In general, people are interested to have photos made of their whole lives. Especially here at the Quantified Self – that’s the purpose of this crowd.

DR
Dan, you are the most senior developer at Narative – ars you also a co-founder?

Dan
No, I’m not a co-founder, but I have been with the company almost from the beginning and I’m a senior developer at Narrative.

DR
Can you tell us a bit about the challenges you have been cobfronted with during the early development phase of Narrative?

Dan
Yeah. Most developers of our team of 30 have a software background. And it was quite hard to understand how hard it is to develop hardware: you have long release cycles with long delays. And when you have to redisign something you have an additional delay of weeks or months. And this happend quite a few time during development.That, for sure, was the hardest part.

DR
Yesterday, your colleague Eric told me that you manufacture in Taiwan. How hard was it to set up this manufacturing process for a startup working out of Stockholm, Sweden?

Dan
We actually got some help from another startup called MuteWatch which uses the same suppliers and plants. Without them it would have been much harder, and still, it’s quite hard to put all relevant things together and build a streamlined production process.

DR
Apart from wearing your own Narrative camera, do you use other life-logging or self-tracking wearables?

Dan
I have tried out some passive tracking apps like Moves to track my movements – and similar ones- but I wouldn’t call myself a big life-logger or quantified self person. I’m more the kind of a ’special events user‘.

DR
Thank you very much, Dan!

Dan
Welcome!

[Here you can see Datarella CEO @jbenno life-logging with the narrative]

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