I’m a hack as a snowboarder and a very casual cyclist, so the idea of attempting to recording myself doing any extreme sports is laughable. I do appreciate the snowboarding videos put out by companies like Burton to generate excitement around their new product line and have even attended a couple snowboarding movie debuts. My real interest in wearable cameras is in the area of life logging, where you record anything in your field of view. When done properly, wearing a camera can also be a good way to put an otherwise nervous interviewee at ease when recording a conversation (with permission, of course).
The new Liquid Image Ego, which includes WiFi and the ability to stream back to a WiFi connected source looks like a great middle ground for both types of activities. While the company isn’t billing the Ego as a wearable camera, it is most definitely a mountable camera for mountain bikers, car enthusiasts, and motorcyclists. It can also be mounted on a helmet, but I think the company would prefer you buy one of their other models instead. For life logging, with the right attachment, you could easily wear one of the cameras with you anywhere and not find it too distracting.
One of the key things I noticed about the entire Liquid Image line is the attention to ease of use. They make a dive mask that’s designed to be easy to change modes and shoot pictures. They make ski goggles with a camera in a similar concept. And the new Ego includes many of the same easy of use features. One key thing Liquid Image has done is color code the shooting modes. There’s a light on each camera unit that change color so you know if you are in 720p, 1080p, continuous still, or still photography mode. This is a definite must for wearable cameras because no one wants to have to dig out the manual when they are out to have a good time.
As you can see in the photo, the camera body is a nice compact size Official specifications put the unit at 1.6″x1.2″x2.5″. A video and photos are recorded to a Micro SD card, with a maximum capacity of 32GB. Video output can be transferred via real time WiFi streaming, copied to a computer using the USB port, or by removing the Micro SD card. 720p video records at 60 frames per second, while 1080p video records at 30 frames per second. Still images are 12-megapixel, with either a manual mode or a configurable delay between continuous shots.
As you can see here, the Ego will ship in a variety of colors. Retail price is expected to be $149 when the units start shipping in June 2012. Find out more about the Ego from Liquid Image.