New video camera concept
I’m not endorsing this, but I like the concept of this camera. It’s light weight would allow you to attach it to your helmet without even noticing it, and because it uses your phone as the recording device it would open the possibility to have it function however you want it to via software on your phone not the camera. It seems pretty limited in battery life right now but that will surely change in time. I hope other companies try this approach too.
Now we’re getting somewhere. I like it. More importantly would consider using it. I have no desire to gear up my head like Inspector Gadget.
Maybe. But this is ~similar to some other products on the market.
The key issue is the operating mode. Their device (in the video, a shot of the control panel) suggests that it captures video in bursts (2-5sec). This implies an actuating event (like you having to press a button, either on the device or on an app window). Ok if your shots are setups; but bikers might prefer continuous monitoring.
The other products I’ve seen look similar (flat box with lens sticking out in a corner ) but their notion of continuous capture seems to be one snap every 30sec. Maybe not what you want if you’re trying to catch someone buzzing you (and their plate number). I never looked into the specs for those products to see if the interval is variable (say down to 1-2 sec), but I suspect not. It’s amazing how scarce product sheets seem to be for these stuffs.
What if the device does 1-2fps and buffers the last ~2min. Then writes to static memory if you push a button? Also, wire in an accelerometer so if you go splat the write happens automatically. Hey, anyone want to Kickstart this? Shoot me a PM.
There’s a little more technical info at the bottom of their Kickstarter page (which was supposed to deliver working cameras to backers last October, but is apparently now aiming for April).
Does it only capture bursts of video? The specification mentions 15 seconds of video, but that might be just what the button does by default. And they’ve already posted a 45 second video taken by a prototype. One of the FAQs says:
What is the battery life?
We are still testing and optimizing performance, especially in mobile scenarios. The camera currently provides approximately 45 minutes of 1080p HD video capturing. While live streaming at the same time, battery life is estimated at about 20-25 minutes. You can alternatively snap just about 1,000 pictures per charge or 200 short 12-sec videos – all streamed up to your friends.
So it seems like the limiting factor for bike use is the battery, not storage space.
Yeah, I wouldn’t run out and buy one of these just yet. But the use of a wireless “dumb” camera hooked up to a “smart” phone (which has an accelerometer) seems like a good idea. Then the recording could capture/store/stream any way an App developer would want it to be. You could even have different modes for commuting, fun ride, etc. that would capture/store the video based on different needs. I’d like a continuous loop for commuting, time lapse for fun rides, even longer time lapse for touring. And this could all be done on the phone, and maybe even at the same time.
The problem is that if the wireless part is on, it eats half your battery life. I think a better design makes the camera itself sufficiently programmable to suit cyclists’ needs, and includes the accelerometer on board too. Use the wireless link only when you need to program it via an app, or get the recordings off, or as a viewfinder.
This model already puts some kind of customization right in the camera: you can set what its one button does, after 1, 2 or 3 presses. I don’t know if the provided customization is flexible enough for cyclist use, but there’s no reason the next model couldn’t be.
I wouldn’t describe this design as a dumb camera hooked up to a smartphone, but as a smart camera which replaces its viewfinder screen and maybe some buttons and switches with a wireless link to a smartphone. That’s a great design improvement over the camera I have, with its snap-on LCD screen.
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