Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 287–298 | Cite as

Ubiquitous Memories: a memory externalization system using physical objects

  • Tatsuyuki KawamuraEmail author
  • Tomohiro Fukuhara
  • Hideaki Takeda
  • Yasuyuki Kono
  • Masatsugu Kidode
Original Article


In this paper we propose an object-triggered human memory augmentation system named “Ubiquitous Memories” that enables a user to directly associate his/her experience data with physical objects by using a “touching” operation. A user conceptually encloses his/her experiences gathered through sense organs into physical objects by simply touching an object. The user can also disclose and re-experience for himself/herself the experiences accumulated in an object by the same operation. We implemented a prototype system composed basically of a radio frequency identification (RFID) device. Physical objects are also attached to RFID tags. We conducted two experiments. The first experiment confirms a succession of the “encoding specificity principle,” which is well known in the research field of psychology, to the Ubiquitous Memories system. The second experiment aims at a clarification of the system’s characteristics by comparing the system with other memory externalization strategies. The results show the Ubiquitous Memories system is effective for supporting memorization and recollection of contextual events.


Physical Object Human Memory Memory Externalization Enclose Experience Operation Class 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research is supported by Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST) Program “Advanced Media Technology for Everyday Living” of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatsuyuki Kawamura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tomohiro Fukuhara
    • 2
  • Hideaki Takeda
    • 3
  • Yasuyuki Kono
    • 4
  • Masatsugu Kidode
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate School of EngineeringOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.RACE (Research into Artifacts, Center for Engineering)The University of TokyoChibaJapan
  3. 3.National Institute of InformaticsTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and TechnologyNaraJapan

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