Microsoft giving grants for Personal Lifetime Storage projects

Microsoft Research has announced a Request for Proposals for projects in relating to their Digital Memories (Memex) research kit, in the context of “personal lifetime storage.” Microsoft’s inspiration (and probably the inspiration for everyone else working in this area too, at least indirectly) is Vannevar Bush’s 1945 article As We May Think, in which he famously described a kind of personal library-in-a-desk he called the memex:

Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and to coin one at random, “memex” will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.

MSR expects to give 6-9 awards to college and university projects, up to a max of $50,000 per award, and recipients would also be given a SenseCam wearable camera and software from the MyLifeBits, VIBE and Phlat research projects at Microsoft Research. Strings are minimal — they expect semiannual progress reports, want it presented at at least one of their workshops and expect the project to be either dedicated to the public domain or released under an open license such as the BSD license.