Saga (made by A.R.O., Inc.)


Lifelogging: A Step Up For Connected Devices?

True to their name, lifelogging devices log your life activities. In this, they are an extended version of health tracking devices because they extend the former’s capabilities into other spheres of life. However, the jump from health logging to life logging is more than a change in semantics or quantity of logged data.


Want To Make Your Life Better? Keep Track Of It

The Quantified Self movement promotes something called life logging. That means tracking all kinds of details of your life in order to improve it. To find out more about the topic, David Greene talks to two people involved with life logging: Kitty Ireland, who works for a life logging app called Saga, and to David Goldstein, who turned to life logging with the help of a coach.

Founded in 2011, Saga is a lifelogging app that records everything from the places you’ve been to the activities you do.

Operating under its umbrella company, A.R.O., Saga crunches all that data and presents it with infographics. The app also includes contextual notifications, which parse your lifelog data to understand what information you need at the time you need it.

If you let Andy Hickl track your every movement and give him the keys to your digital life, he promises to make it worth your while. Trust Hickl’s app Saga to track your step counts, your location, give it access to all your social media accounts, and it promises to enhance your life by predicting the information you want to know before you even know you want it.


Saga Passively Records All Your Travels

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If someone is around, but doesn’t Instagram it, did it really fall? What if they don’t leave a cautionary tip at the “dangerous forest” location on Foursquare?

With Saga, such epistemological thought experiments will be irrelevant. The life-logging app for Android and iPhone passively tracks everything you do and syncs with your favorite apps to create a holistic story of your life, with no action required from you.

A similar app that tries to do a bit more than Moves is Saga, which compiles users’ locations, travel times, and posts to social networks into one “Lifelog.” This week, Saga added the ability to share Lifelogs with others, but what I find more interesting is the infographics it automatically compiles about my habits, like “time spent at home each week,” “time spent in transit each week,” and “unique places visited each week,” as compared to myself and other Saga users. Tracking something so you can understand it in context is another good motivator.

Plus, stories are more interesting than stats and isolated updates. Saga is definitely onto something there.

There are a lot of apps out there that track your movement throughout the day. Something like Saga is all about tracking where you go and offering up a ton of graphs based on how much time to spend somewhere, how you get there, and plenty more. Likewise, something like Moves simply tracks where you go throughout the day and how you get there. You can even take it a step further and inject all kinds of data from what Moves collects into your social network updates into a single app like Narrato.

As a chronic journaler, I like to write about what's going on in my life on a day to day basis. Lifelogging is a new idea to me though, it's a different way of keeping track of your days since you don't need to manually enter data.

Saga is a free lifelogging app for iOS that lets you share your life with your friends and family. It will track the time you spend at various places, and it will let you incorporate data from social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You can also add your own photos, videos, and personal notes to your Saga lifelog.

I’m still waiting for the quantified-self apps to actually start providing useful information, but until that happens they still work really well as moral compasses.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the idea of the quantifed self movement. I’ve spent months over the past couple years meticulously documenting my every movement and bite of food with Fitbit (see disclosure). Most recently, I spent a month confirming my every move with Saga.


Saga Goes Social : Life-Logging Goes Mainstream

Life-logging app Saga has gone social, so you can now share the personal story of your past, present and future. It’s yet another step in taking life-logging mainstream, thanks to the proliferation of smart devices and a growing level of comfort with putting personal data to good use.

I like to journal regularly, but I have to admit that I was unfamiliar with the idea of lifelogging. Saga is a very interesting app, it lets you log your daily life without having to do much in the way of tracking things yourself.

For example, Saga will let you track your time spent going to and from work, time spent at work, as well as the other places your go during your daily routine. This might help you understand exactly what you're spending your time doing throughout the day.


Recording the saga of your life

Does anybody keep a diary anymore? Come to think of it, we all do: in the computers, tablets, and smartphones we use. These gadgets record practically everything we do, sharing it with giant corporations and shadowy government agencies.

Now it’s our turn, thanks to a cool app called Saga, a not-so-secret agent that helps smartphone users build a digital diary of their everyday activities. And unlike the information collected by so many other tracking apps, the stuff collected by Saga is for your eyes only.

Many of us already record the places we go and things we do by using our smartphone to diligently snap photos and videos, and to update social media accounts. A company called ARO is building technology that automatically collects a more comprehensive, automatic record of your life.


Is This App the Next Siri -- or the New Big Brother?

Quick Pitch: Saga observes your real-world activity through the eyes of your mobile phone.

Genius Idea: After Saga has become familiar with your patterns of activity, it starts making personal recommendations.

We all have our daily routines — bus route, favorite coffee shop, the corner deli. Once habits are formed, they are difficult to break, even if there are better options out there.

With Saga, a new app from Seattle startup A.R.O., users are given a chance to try new things based on their past choices.

Saga keeps track of where you are, how you got there and who you’re with — all without you having to check in. The app uses senors already embedded in your phone to record your whereabouts — and suggests places you should visit based on your previous destinations.

In many ways, Saga is Siri‘s silent counterpart. Whereas Siri will answer questions when asked, Saga already knows what you want — and is ready to provide personal recommendations whenever you need them.

Aside from location monitoring and suggestions, Saga also gamifies your life. The app translates the things you do in real life into experience points, allowing you to rack up XP each time you do something cool. If nothing else, earned XP can serve as a reminder to pat yourself on the back for being awesome.


Path finder - The Daily

Your smartphone, whether it’s a run-of- the-mill, free-with-rebate Android device or a shiny new iPhone, is practically bursting at the seams with an array of different sensors that do things like pinpoint your exact location on the planet and calculate the average speed of your morning jog.

A new iPhone app, from Seattle-based A.R.O., wants to put these sensors to work in order to create your very own “intelligent companion.”

“The core of Saga is our ability to understand where you are and what you’ve done,” A.R.O. co-founder and president Andy Hickl told The Daily. “With that information, we’re able to understand what you might need or want to do later in the day.”

The free app (which currently requires an invitation code to use) can best be thought of as a cross between Foursquare and Google Now: Saga automatically checks you into locations, and then uses that history to suggest nearby hotspots. And the first 100 readers who use the code THEDAILY will receive an invitation to use Saga.


9 Apps You Don't Want To Miss

It can be tough to keep up with all the new apps released each week. But you’re in luck: We take care of a lot of that for you, creating a roundup each weekend of some of our favorite new and updated apps from the week.

This week we found an app that turns your city into a virtual Monopoly board. Another app helps you find a seat on your next flight, and yet another gets to know you and will make recommendations such as where you should grab dinner based on what you’ve done previously.

If you want to keep up with the latest news, we found an app this week that will send the latest headlines to your handset, as well as another that uses a special language processor to read through your Twitter feed and sort through what’s important.

Another app from the week will let you tune into your favorite radio station, and another will automatically create galleries of photos from the last party you attended with your friends.

Una nueva aplicación de asistente personal llamada Saga apareció este martes en la App Store de la plataforma iOS, y busca conocer a los usuarios mejor de lo que ellos mismos se conocen. Al igual que la nueva aplicación Google Now, Saga intenta llevar el concepto Siri un paso más allá al decirles a los usuarios, de forma proactiva, lo que necesitan saber cuando necesitan saberlo. Lograr ese objetivo requiere de gran cantidad de datos y algoritmos capaces de aprender lo que los usuarios hacen cuando salen de casa.
Andy Hickl, cofundador y CEO de A.R.O, la startup con sede en Seattle que desarrolló la aplicación Saga, no la ve como un reemplazo de Siri tanto como un "parlanchín compañero, o una hermana o hermano menor" que hace sugerencias que podrían ocurrírsete por tu cuenta si tuvieras tiempo.

Ever wondered how you really spend your day? Or if there might be something better you could be doing with your time? Saga is a new iPhone app that tracks your movements, suggests new places to explore, and awards you experience points when you do it.

Saga records everything you do and how you do it. If you spend a couple hours at Starbucks, Saga knows, and it also knows how you got there. Besides logging your movements and chronicling your events, Saga also predicts what you might do based on what you've done in the past. It suggests new restaurants, clubs, and other activities. It will also integrate with apps like RunKeeper and Fitbit to form a makeshift holding bin for all your activities.

At first, Saga kind of stinks at understanding you. When I first loaded up the app, it suggested I venture into the suburbs to check out Red Robin. Over the course of a day, Saga learned where I actually live and started suggesting better options. That said, Saga automatically assumes you're at certain locations and bases your recommendations on that. This can be a bit problematic if you're just hanging out near a location, but not actually inside it. You're awarded experience points for all those visits, but it's unclear what those points actually mean in the long run.

The new app Saga is aptly named. Saga, of course, harkens back to those larger-than-life tales of blonde, barrel-chested Scandinavian man-gods clashing in earth-shattering battles. Though the app Saga does not include any hammer-play, it does attempt to accomplish the epic feat of improving a person's life every minute that he or she is awake.

Running constantly in the background of your smartphone, Saga tracks your location every minute of every day, pinpointing each of your restaurant, boutique and museum visits without needing a manual "check-in." Saga can learn your shopping, eating, and leisure preferences in order to push you toward newer and bolder activities and establishments.

We are not flinging birds at pigs here: The subtextual purpose of this app is to improve your life by helping you find new adventures that you otherwise would not have known existed.

Thanks to Apple’s intelligent assistant Siri, virtual personal assistants have started to pop up on users’ smartphones. To add to that trend, Seattle-based startup ARO Inc. is launching its second project, Saga, an intelligent companion for iPhone, out of stealth today. Saga uses ambient location to automatically monitor users’ activities, providing everything from tracking, to recommendations, to automatic check-ins.

Saga automatically collects location and behavioral information about a user’s daily activities, from the route they took on their daily commute, to how long they spent in the office, to where they went to grab dinner that evening. Users are rewarded with experience points for their different activities, which right now aren’t tied to real-life rewards (but conceivably could be in the future). “Saga is an intelligent companion that is designed to help you get more out of life,” co-founder Andy Hickl said in an interview. “What we want to build is the first of a new generation of apps that are out there looking out for you and trying to anticipate what you might need to get stuff done on a daily basis.” That might be where to eat in a new city, finding out why traffic is backed up, or the best route to take somewhere.

A new social iOS app Saga has just hit the App Store (Free, iTunes) and is already generating considerable buzz. Building on the location aware functionality in Siri and Google Now, Saga utilizes data from Facebook, Twitter and others to develop an 'understanding' of a users movements and entertainment habits. Using this information, it can generate suggestions about places to eat that suit your tastes, or other entertainment hangouts, or places where you can buy good coffee.
Provided that you are willing to share your personal and location data with the app, it will automatically record your travels and how you got there without needing to check in. It will learn your daily routine and travel patterns in order to offer suggestions. This can be used to look at your 'past' and to plan your 'future.' To further hook in users, it will rate your week allowing you to earn Experience Points (XP). Naturally, all or some of this information can easily be shared with friends on social networks. With privacy considerations in mind, users can also email the developers at any time if they would like their personal data deleted from the Saga servers.

Saga just launched. What is it?

A new kind of mobile companion. It studies what you do. How you do it. When you do it. Where you do it. Who you do it with. It’s an app that studies your context and builds an intelligent companion.

Yes, it’s iPhone only today, but will come to Android soon.

Here founder Andy Hickl shows me the app and explains to me what it does, and how it’ll protect my privacy.

This app, after you run it for a while, tells you all sorts of stuff about you, and your day coming up.

It competes with a bunch of things. Including Siri, PlaceMe, and others. I’ll give a more full report in about a week.

Ever since we talked with Matias Duarte about Google Now at Google I/O last month we’ve been interested in the idea of a more proactive digital assistant; one that can make recommendations before we actually ask for help. Well, a Seattle company called ARO is looking to apply that principle in order to help its users "get more out of life" with a new app called Saga.

The basic idea is that after you’ve trained Saga to the point where it knows your routine and the places you frequent, it will do things like let you know when it’s about to rain (using Dark Sky), remind you that it’s lunchtime, or tell you when a new route saves time on your commute. There’s a gamification element, too — you earn experience points for living "outside of the daily grind" by doing things like "being outdoorsy," "eating out," and "taking care of yourself."

With nods to Siri and the Quantified Self movement, Saga is a third party answer to Siri and Google Now.

When the iPhone 4S first debuted, its big sell was Siri. The assistant app was supposed to be the first realization of AI technology, the best way to utilize what the smartphone could do. Of course we soon learned that all the celebrity endorsements in the world couldn’t make Siri what it wasn’t, and it’s been an often-mocked, largely disappointing feature.

It’s due for an upgrade, which we’ll likely see in the iPhone 5, but until then there’s something of a gap space in the market for developers to exploit. Cue a Google reactionary product! Debuted at Google I/O, Google Now looked to be a step up from the Siri experience, with a deeper integration into how you use your smartphone and tighter predictive abilities.

new personal assistant app called Saga makes its way into the iOS App Store on Tuesday, and it wants to get to know users better than they know themselves. Like the recently unveiled Google Now, Saga tries to take the Siri concept a step further by proactively telling users what they need to know when they need to know. Doing this requires lots of data and algorithms capable of learning what users are really up to when they’re out and about.

Andy Hickl, co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based A.R.O., the startup that built Saga, doesn’t see the app as a Siri replacement as much as a “chatty little brother or sister, or sidekick” that makes suggestions you might come up with on your own if you had the time. Assuming users grant it permission to track their location, Saga will know where they are, how long they’re likely to stay and how long it will take to get home if they leave now. Near lunchtime, it will suggest good places to eat based on the places users (or maybe their friends) frequent. It will tell users how far they’ve traveled recently and breakdown where they’ve spent the most time.

In some ways, Hickl said, Saga is a “quantitied self play for the things you do and places you go on a regular basis.”

Saga can do what Siri can’t.

Saga, which launches today for iPhone, is Siri if she were proactive. The application doesn’t wait for you to ask a question, but instead knows enough about you from the activity passively logged by your phone to offer up information and recommendations when it thinks you need them most.

“We call it an intelligent companion,” Andy Hickl, CEO and co-founder of parent company A.R.O., explained to me in an interview. “We’ve built an app that knows where you are, what you’re doing, and tries … to hook you up with information, or recommendations, or notifications that might help you out in your current context.”

Saga is not another Siri clone, per se. It’s more similar to Google Now and the recently launched Friday app, offering a utility that intelligently pins down data based on any number of metrics, most prominently your location, and displays it to the user with actionized intent. The service is launching its public beta for iOS today.

Saga combines a number of different elements. For one, there’s the hyper-local aspect: the app is location-based at its core and the recommendations systems is tailored accordingly. Saga can alert you of nearby events, pinpoint the nearest gas station on the road and let you know if it’s going to rain in the next 10 minutes. Such detailed and timely alerts and recommendations are made possible thanks to integration with DarkSky, one of several popular apps that Saga is connected to, along with RunKeeper, Withings and Fitbit.

Forget your search history, running mileage, and spending habits. Saga learns who you are by tracking where you go.

Apps may already track your workouts, your finances, and your temperature preferences, but until now they’ve largely overlooked the most telling data feed of all: your location.

Saga, which is launching on Tuesday, uses your phone’s GPS, WiFi capabilities and accelerometer to track every move you make--logging the amount of time you spend at each new location in a comprehensive history that can be reviewed with a swipe.

We’ve just been given a first look at Saga, a new mobile companion emerging from Seattle startup A.R.O. You can think of Saga as Siri’s little sister, perhaps. Instead of asking it questions or giving the app simple tasks (what’s the weather, add meeting calendar, e.g.), Saga is there, quietly tracking your behavior, your location and learning about your preferences, in order to make smarter recommendations about what you should do next. It’s the next evolution of those “ambient location” apps which were all the rage at this year’s SXSW, perhaps.


Companion Is The New Assistant

Positioning piece. A.R.O.'s President and co-founder, Andy Hickl, lays out an argument for a new kind of intelligent software assistant -- called a companion -- that can be used to help me be a better human, and lead a better human life.

Andy discusses three major trends right now that make the notion of building a software companion a realistic endeavor. These include (1) the advent of services that can gather rich information about a user's activity, preferences, and interests, (2) the emerging Quantified Self movement (and interest in apps that make the QS possible on a large scale), and (3) new technologies that can anticipate or predict users' needs even before they know they have them.