Wearable MeMini captures life as it happens
A Wanaka entrepreneur is poised to launch a revolutionary wearable mini-camera using state-ofthe-art patented technology. A prototype meMINI, designed and built by former Snow Park founder Sam Lee and Ben Bodley at Auckland-based Teknique technology firm, was officially unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The launch coincides with a Kickstarter crowd-sourcing fundraiser to reach a $50,000 target to take the product to market. Lee said the point of difference for the video camera was its ability to record instantly at the touch of a ‘recall’ button. The device is continuously cued to record video so there is barely any lag time between observing a scene and capturing the moment. GoPro was a fantastic product but the meMINI was designed primarily with the lifestyle market in mind for those personal moments, he said. Its technology is adaptable and it could be used for sports or fit snugly into a waterproof housing. The prototype uses a simple detachable magnetic backplate that attaches to clothing or metal surfaces. ‘‘We had a look at the markets but no-one is doing really anything for lifestyle. What’s the camera for lifestyle?’’ Smartphones often had a delay between activating an app and taking a photo or shooting video. The meMINI doesn’t and once the footage is recorded the images can be uploaded via wi-fi to a meMINI ‘‘cloud’’ and then distributed to friends, family or on social media. The designers were also working on potential upgrades based on prototype reception, including changing the electronics, adding image stabilisers, time-lapse capability or shock mountings. It shoots 1080 high-definition footage at industry standard compression. Lee says they wanted to embrace the Kiwi entrepreneurial spirit. ‘‘If something does happen you just hit the button. If New Zealand embraces it, it’s an opportunity to show that we are moving away from the tall poppy syndrome, if we can get funded in the first 24 hours. ‘‘I always loved electronics when I was a little kid. I used to pull stuff to bits. [At Snow Park] I always loved the technology and tried to streamline the operations.’’ Lee together with Bodley’s camera design firm Teknique, Blender Design and Auckland University of Technology developed working prototypes for the Las Vegas show. The prototype battery has a threehour run time and uses patented Recall technology, which allows the user to set the capture-length time of events as they happen from a few seconds to five minutes. The idea eliminates the need to trawl through unwanted or superfluous footage because users hit record at the opportune moment and then footage is instantly available to share. Bodley said he looked at technology based on aircraft black box recorders, where old information is overwritten by new data. He chose a 160-degree wide angle lens to better replicate the human field of vision and perspective. The Kickstarter target, if reached, will take the project to the next step, the first 1000-unit production run of cameras with an anticipated price tag of $180 (US$149). Visit memini.com for more information.
Instant action: Entrepreneur Sam Lee with a prototype wearable meMINI.