I realized today I had forgotten to post at least one more video from CES 2014 - it was this interview with Steve Ward of VIEVU, which was showing off its new VIEVU2 (pronounced "Vee View Squared") wearable video camera. The company makes body-worn video cameras for police officers, and the VIEVU2 is aimed at the prosumer market, but this includes professionals such as "private security, insurance, facilities management, transportation, inspection and service," etc.
The $349 camera records video in 720p (1,280 by 720) and SD modes (640 by 480), with a 95-degree field of view - the 16GB of onboard storage can shoot about 90 minutes of footage, and it can stream to the smartphone via 802.11g/n wireless. The company has a smart app that pairs the camera to the smartphone for view-finding (so you can see what you're filming to make sure it's in the frame correctly) as well as for storage for later uploading.
The VIEVU2 is the latest in this wearable camera trend - seen mainly in the action sports world with the GoPro camera, but also seen by companies such as Looxcie, which also had a wearable camera it was showing at CES:
When you add Google Glass and its video-recording capabilities, we're not too far off from a future where everyone is potentially recording everyone else. We're already in a world where security cameras are recording everything - every interaction that humans have with each other could be recorded. Wearable cameras like this will continue to get smaller, and if they're embedded in every-day clothing and accessories - glasses, hats, ties, jackets, etc. - we'll soon not even notice that someone is recording you (and then things will get interesting).
Of course, we still have laws that state that subjects being recorded on video need to be told or made aware of the fact that they're being recorded - but I don't think that will necessarily slow down the adoption of this type of gadget. By the time a the subject of a video (especially one that goes viral on YouTube) objects to being recorded in this way, the damage would likely have already occurred. Bottom line for everyone moving forward - don't do anything stupid in public ever again.
On the plus side, there are some very cool benefits to cameras like this. For one, you won't have a parade of people holding out their smartphones trying to get the perfect shot at a school play, soccer game or other kids' event (but they'll still be watching on the smartphone view finder app). In addition, people taking selfies of themselves in the mirror won't have to hold a phone to the mirror to do it - the photo/video will be embedded into their clothes (still not sure about the naked selfie, that's another discussion). In addition, I would love to have an app that can use the camera to identify a person by their face and instantly tell me their name, since I'm often forgetting people's names after I meet them.
What do you think about wearable cameras going mainstream? Let me know in the comments.
UPDATE: It's probably happenening faster than we anticipated. In Ohio, a man who wore Google Glass to a movie theater was detained and interrogated by officials from the Department of Homeland Security. While the man was not recording the movie (he had prescription lenses in them and had turned the device off), it only shows how many more issues will be raised as we all start wearing our cameras.
Keith Shaw also rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
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