It seems that unless each moment has the ability to be transformed into a photo, which can either be uploaded or shared, it risks being forgotten. Sweden-based Memoto has set out to help people capture all of life’s moments, no matter how mundane, with its new tiny wearable camera infused with GPS technology. The camera takes one photo every 30 seconds, geo-tags them, and makes them all available to browse both on the web and through its mobile apps.
“We realized that a large part of our lives are missing from our memories and many fantastic and special moments become blurred throughout, and we believe that it’s a reason many of us feel life is rushing by and is way too short. So we wanted to find a way to capture more of life and enjoy the present as it happens,” co-founder Oskar Kalmaru said in an interview. “We felt with a wearable camera, that could be achieved. And we started looking at what’s been researched in the area before, and we found there’s been about 20 years worth about life logging and life logging cameras, but no real consumer product.”
The company launched the camera through its Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to put the device into production with an initial goal of $50,000, which they exceeded 4.5 hours after launching last week. That resulted in a new goal of $150,000 to introduce additional colors, which they also surpassed, and the company is now in the midst of their second stretch goal of $350,000 to introduce features that would provide added control over the frequency of when photos are taken (as of press time they’re less than $3,000 away from that goal). The camera costs $279, however early backers still have the opportunity to get one for a discount on Kickstarter.
Measuring 36x36x9 millimeters, the camera is designed to be both comfortable and unobtrusive to wear, as well as discreet in the way it captures photos. It starts taking a photo automatically every 30 seconds with five megapixel resolution as soon as its clipped on or worn. It comes equipped with 8GB worth of memory, good enough for two entire days of photographing, which is also how long its battery life lasts for. It also features an accelerometer that will orient the photos so that users don’t have to worry about how or where they clip the camera on.
Once connected to a computer, all of the photos are then geo-tagged and uploaded to the company’s servers, and are automatically organized according to date, time, and place for easy browsing on the web or through the company’s complementary Android and iPhone app. Although photo storage is completely private, users do have the option to share them across popular social networks. The company is offering the photo storage service for free during the first year, and is in the process of finalizing how much it might charge afterwards.
In response to why the company settled on a 30 second interval between photos, Kalmaru said it’s based on research and studies on life logging. “One conclusion was that the 30 second gap was an optimal interval, because battery time would be much reduced if we had a higher frequency. If we had a lower frequency, we would risk missing stuff, it wouldn’t be able to tell the same sort of story.” The company’s second stretch goal, which they are well poised to reach, will enable them to integrate a feature set that would let the user choose a frequency that would work best for them and a way to take photos on demand.
The company is seeing a great deal of traction from the U.S., which it expected, but also from parts of China, South America, and Europe. Given that there are already products out there like Nike’s Fuelband and Fitbits that individuals are using to record their every movement to reach their fitness goals, having photos to match that growing need to capture and quantify life just reaffirms the company’s value proposition. “The trend of life logging, or quantified self, or devices that help you record and organize your life and experience, that is something that is absolutely growing,” Kalmaru added.