Wear­able MeMini cap­tures life as it hap­pens

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

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.

Photo: JOHN EDENS/FAIR­FAX NZ 628796156

In­stant ac­tion: En­tre­pre­neur Sam Lee with a pro­to­type wear­able meMINI.

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