It was only a matter of time before Memoto, the much vaunted Swedish company behind the ‘world’s smallest wearable camera’, started facing real competition in the lifelogging space. In the last few months, that has appeared in the US market in the form of ParaShoot, pictured above, a wearable HD device that shoots both stills and video.
ParaShoot, which had a storming Kickstarter debut, is almost as compact as Memoto, but also offers full video and audio, whereas Memoto simply records a snap every 30 seconds. Thanks for playing, Memoto, one might have thought.
Not so fast.
ParaShoot has just had its Kickstarter campaign abruptly suspended after it had raised $117,358, easily beating its initial $30,000 goal, according to a NextWeb report. It has started up again on rival crowdsourcing site Indiegogo, billing itself as the ‘ParaShoot 2.1, the ONLY Customizable Wearable Wireless Multi-Use Small HD Camera’ (with that many qualifiying adjectives it’s slightly easier to put ‘only’ before it in block caps). But it’s a significant setback either way.
As TNW reports:
ParaShoot co-founder Matt Sandy tells TNW that the company got no warning of its suspension from Kickstarter, and it isn’t clear why action has been taken against: “They [Kickstarter] were very positive about our project the week before when we [first] contacted them. [There was] no warning at all about their action.”
A little more light is shed on the issue by a report in Crowdfundinsider.com, which includes a link to the comments section of the original Kickstarter campaign. Without going into too much detail, commenters raised concerns that they had seen a very similar camera for sale on several websites from Russia to Taiwan and were asking the ParaShoot people for an explanation relating to the apparent similarities and whether the design and components were entirely their own work.
In one reply, ‘Matt and Colin’, the guys behind ParaShoot, offer an attempt at an explanation, saying that “microelectronics development is cut throat” but don’t directly address the issue. The new Indiegogo campaign has raised $16,000 of their $117,000 target, but at a much slower rate than the KS.
But the Swedish firm has itself faced challenges delivering on its ‘summer 2013’ launch date, partly due to pressure from its Kickstarter investors to introduce an on-demand photography function ie a snap when the users see something they want to photograph, rather than only every 30 seconds. In June I interviewed Memoto’s CEO, Martin Kallstrom, for the video channel SmartMonkeyTV, and he told me that the challenges of developing a compact stills camera etc were great enough without trying to get into continuous video recording.
It’s a case in point of the rewards of doing one thing well (in this case, taking snaps every 30 seconds) rather than taking on too much at once.
I have no doubt that the technology will evolve to make it easier to add video and the requisite app support, not to mention data crunching of all that information. But for the moment, sorting out 172,000 still images a day is enough to be getting on with.
As a friend said recently, ‘all that Go Pro-style camera footage of my mountain biking trip is all very well, but it’s too much to digest, I never have the time to watch it.’
To modify the expression: the over-examined life may also not be worth living.