With wearable technology looking sure to take off in a big way in the very near future, electronics manufacturers large and small are all attempting to position themselves so as to ensure that they’ll receive a piece of the pie. For many such companies, the most direct route that they can take is by developing a device that attempts to take a common strand of wearable—typically an exercise tracker or a smartwatch—and simply try and do things better than their many competitors. However, for some of the braver figures on the scene, the only way to really carve out one’s own niche is to come up with a device that does something as yet unseen on the marketplace—and the Kapture looks like it might do just that.
Pitching itself as a ‘DVR on your wrist’, the Kapture is an audio recorder meant for everyday life. How many times have you wished that you could record audio at a second’s notice, or even record something that’s already gone by? The device offers you that very luxury, constantly recording on a sixty second loop so that even if you didn’t think to record something before it happened, it’s automatically been recorded so that you can decide to save it afterwards.
Of course, something that sounds so simple rarely turns out to be in practice. That’s why the minds behind the Kapture elected to fund the product on Kickstarter last year, raising more than $150,000 USD that was put towards both research and development and the eventual manufacture of the refined version of the device. The result is a finished product that executes rather brilliantly on the promise of having an always-on audio recorder; you don’t have to save everything that it records, but it’s a very easy process to save anything that you deem worthy of keeping around.
The device itself looks something like a typical wrist-mounted wearable, but without any kind of screen. It’s very common for a wearable device to have some sort of visual interface, purely to make things easy to interact with, but the Kapture is so simple to operate that there’s really no need. Simply tap the microphone grill once and it’ll send the last sixty seconds of audio that it has been recording to your smartphone app—it’s as simple as that. From the app, you can do whatever you like with the audio file; share it on social media, send it to someone directly via email or text, or simply back it up for your own personal use at a later date. It’s a refreshingly uncomplicated system, the whole device is very much focussed on doing one thing in particular, and doing it very well.
The range of situations where the device could come in handy is, of course, almost endless. The very simplest uses, such as recording a reminder for yourself when a thought comes into your head when you’re on the move, or simply recording a thought that you need to follow up on later on, are the sort of thing that you can imagine being of assistance to just about anyone. That said, there are many more specific cases where the Kapture could really prove to be a very powerful tool indeed. A range of ideas from backers of the crowdfunding campaign were recorded in a Kickstarter update; creative types from songwriters to comedians suggested that the device could help them take full advantage of bursts of inspiration, parents noted how beneficial it would be in recording their children’s early years and even those suffering from illness and disability praised the device for the possibilities it could potentially offer them.
Function was clearly imperative to the design of the Kapture, but the team who created it have made it very clear from the beginning that aesthetics were also very important. In keeping with the fact that the Kapture could provide a myriad of different uses for different people, the device itself is customizable to suit the needs of the individual. As well as several different colour variants, you can choose whether to purchase the Kapture as a watch-like wristband or as a clip that you could then affix to clothing, a bag, or anything else that it could attach firmly onto. Beyond that, it’s back to simplicity—even the two models mentioned are exactly the same internally, the only difference being the way that they are worn on your body. Storage space is perhaps the only aspect of the device that you would want to change, but even that isn’t too much of a concern, given that the device is intended to sync with your smartphone and use its memory to store your audio. However, if you do find yourself without your phone at any given time, there is enough space on the Kapture itself to save around 25 audio clips—then once you’re back within range of your phone, they’ll automatically be transferred across for you to do with as you will.
Having found its initial funding as part of a very successful Kickstarter campaign last year, the Kapture is now available to pre-order directly from its designers ahead of an anticipated release during the summer. Six colours are available—black, white, seafoam, hot orange, hard yellow and coral—with the microphone grill and wristbands being interchangeable for added customization. There are also two premium variants in gold and chrome available for purchase at a higher price point. The standard Kapture, whether it comes as the normal wristband version or the Klip, is up for pre-order at $99 USD. Such a low price is no doubt thanks to the absence of a screen, as well as the fact that the Kapture is very much focussed on recording audio well without any other distractions—but it’s still rather impressive that such a refined and good-looking product is selling for such a low price. For most, it’s likely that the Kapture would certainly come in handy rather often, but for a certain few there’s no doubt that the device is something that they’ve been crying out for—even if they didn’t quite realise it until now.