Thursday, December 9

Say Cheese!

There's something to be said for junior siblings who harbour grand-motherly ambitions: not only are their intentions unfailingly above board, but they often provide you with eminently sensible advice. My younger sister, forever trying to overtake the few years that separated our births (and not merely due to her head-start in child-rearing experience), gave me one such invaluable tip some seasons ago. In sum and substance her insight was to forsake still photography in favour of video when trying to capture assorted intimate moments with my new-born.

The logic, as most parents shall easily empathize, is simply this: perfect as the cherub may be, one can just not ever make them pose, camera at the ready, in the fashion you want to catch; or be able to whip up your camera in time to catch the pose they already have. Consider too, how consumed one is by an overarching desire to store those magical moments for posterity and future viewing pleasure. As such, among general early parenting tutorials, this visual arts lesson is worth its weight in gold. (There is a school of thought that directly ascribes Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle to be an offshoot of this inability for subject and equipment to meet!) The handycam, video-enabled digicam, or (increasingly) the mobilephone camera in video mode, therefore, are God’s gift to parentkind. You click, point and whirr - you're away!

But whoa – you still have to lug the equipment along; test your hand-eye coordination; and of course keep one hand otherwise engaged, and not in petting one’s progeny or restraining him in mischief! Last month, however, going through some internal communication on digital trends and practices, my attention got drawn to a brand new product. Looxcie, as this device is called, is camera meets your Bluetooth handsfree audio earset. Sitting on your ear, Looxcie’s camera records all you see, all the time - and if you figure out something worth capture (or sharing online in our post-FB quasi-voyeuristic times) you click a button – to save, edit or instantly share the immediate 30 sec clip to your favourite social networking site. Now this may sound premature, but my sense is that the Looxcie (as a product class) represents a new level in the evolutionary relationship between man and technology insofar as it further reduces disruption to your daily life and habit – and perhaps a step closer to the body itself becoming our computing interface.

There is a catch, of course – and it is not the device’s five hour storage limit! As our real and virtual worlds collide, the Looxcie as an accessory for oneself is sure to find many takers. Yet, not all of us may be equally comfortable playing Beatrice to its Dante - lest Divine Tragedies result ;-)


Aparna said...

Reels to digital and now Looxcie!!
Great !!
Looxcie looks more like a prop from Valve’s game Portal than what it actually is: a non-nerdy wearable camera, or a distinctly nerdy Bluetooth headset.
It works like this. You jam the Looxcie in your ear and switch it on. A reversible earplug means it’ll fit in either ear-hole. The camera then runs continuously and buffers up to five hours of video. If something cool happens, you hit a button and it sends the last 30 seconds via Bluetooth to a companion app on your Android phone, from where you can edit and upload it. This app also acts as a live viewfinder for the camera.
If you only use it as a Bluetooth headset, it will last for 10 hours, and if a call comes in while you are filming, the video recording is muted.
Amazing isn’t it ? but…..
The Looxcie costs $200, and the camera quality is crappy: your phone’s camera is undoubtedly better than the measly 480×320 pixel resolution and 15fps. On the other hand, it does look like a gun from Portal, so that might make it worth the price as a novelty Bluetooth headset for a really rabid fan of the game.

People who were quick off the mark to buy the Looxcie Bluetooth camcorder may well be regretting their speedy purchase as the device has now been adapted to be compatible with iOS devices.
The $200 wearable camcorder that was Android-exclusive has now received hardware modifications and now the Looxcie LX1 can also be used with iOS devices at exactly the same price…

Anonymous said...

Looxcie, wallah! my parents were in desperate need of this … too bad it got late, merely by few decades. Uff! How much I disliked getting that hurried last moment comb … those oil drenched hair used to stick on one side making me a perfect “Raaja Bachha” specimen of the B&W era.
Thanks! for bringing this to the notice of needy Mankind and their not so “Raaja Bachha” papooses!