The Looxcie LX1 wearable camcorder is one of the coolest devices that you never knew you needed.
Not much larger than the normal Bluetooth headset, the Looxcie is a Bluetooth enabled camcorder that records what you see. Why bluetooth enabled? Well, with the appropriate app, this small wonder can be used to record to your smartphone for easy sharing over email and social networking sites. You can also use your phone as a viewfinder to easily see exactly what your looxcie is capturing.
One of the coolest features of this device is that you don’t have to hit record to capture something. Looxcie is always recording and anytime something cool happens you just tap the ‘instant clip’ button to save a clip of the last 30 seconds. So if you see something awesome just tap the button and you’ve got a clip to share. Hold the button for 3 seconds and it’ll automatically send the clip to a predesignated email address over your phone’s data connection. You can record clips directly to your phone of up to 30 minutes in length.
At the end of the day you attach looxcie to your USB connection on your Mac (because you don’t have a PC, right?) and transfer all the video recorded that day. The looxcie records up to 5 hours of footage and when 5 hours is up it automatically starts deleting the oldest footage – so you’ll always have the last five hours the your device was powered on for. (be sure to turn it off in the restroom, just sayin.)
It also functions as a bluetooth headset for your phone and it automatically mutes the audio you’re recording if you take a call while taking video. So how much for all these features in a tiny futuristic package? This little device is priced at $199.
Downsides? I can see a few. The biggest is the video quality: 480p which will look ok on youtube, but on an HDTV it’ll look pretty poor. In the sample video you can clearly see that the tiny CMOS chip has a pretty significant rolling shutter effect, which is to be expected, but is a bigger problem than most cameras since you’re wearing the device on your head. What this means is that when you shift your head quickly in any direction, you get a distinct ‘jell-o frame’ effect that looks pretty nauseating. At first glance the price seems pretty reasonable but its still a $200 camera that gets lower quality than most $200 pocket cameras. (a la Flip Ultra HD)
Cool things you could do with this? Many. Pretty much anytime where it’d be cool to get a person’s POV of an event you can capture it with this device. Any time you’re somewhere and something cool could happen any minute, but you don’t know when – just hit the instant clip button and you have a clip of it saved to your phone. I’d like to wear one while playing frisbee and watch the whole game from my perspective. Do a whole sunday with lots of people wearing these and intercut the footage to make a highlight video. Youth videos? Awesome. Skiing videos? Awesome. Recap videos? Awesome.
Some features I’d like to see added in the next version? The main thing is HD video. You can tell that they’re just trying this device out. It’ll be serious when it goes HD. Next I’d like to see an image stabilizer to make up for the rolling shutter CMOS chip. And finally I’d like to see them make a waterproof version. Imagine swimming around wearing one of these, or taking it water skiing? Awesome. So yeah, I’m excited about the possibilities here.