It’s amazing to see just how far video cameras have come in the past twenty years. Back then, video cameras were still something of a hot commodity—who wouldn’t want to be able to make their own home movies? However, they weren’t the easiest devices to operate. Editing footage was limited to on-camera cuts or a complex set-up that usually involved a VCR, and even the film itself was rather expensive for the amount of footage you could record to it. Happily, things today are much easier; high-capacity disk storage removes the need for buying tapes, and there’s never been more options for how to edit your clips together and share them with your friends online. Sharing online has given video cameras something of a new lease of life, prompting many people to start documenting their lives in this way once again. For many, the humble phone camera is enough, but if you’re wanting something a bit more serious, then a wearable model might just be the way to go.
One such device is the ParaShoot, a wearable camera that might quite a stir when it launched on IndieGogo a couple of years ago. Smashing its funding goal and raising some $150,000 USD, the product was one of several that started a real boom in personal wearable cameras—something we can still see today with the enormous popularity of devices like the GoPro and the Autographer to name just a couple. Some devices, like the GoPro, opt to specialize their feature set towards a very specific audience, but the ParaShoot seems to go for a very different tact. This is a wearable camera that anyone can use, and it has been specifically created such that even the most novice user will be able to get the most out of it.
It’s nothing new for a tech device to aim itself at a very broad audience, but it’s refreshing to see what a good job the ParaShoot does of it. Too often we see this sort of device have an air of looking down at their userbase as a result, either through oversimplifying things or simply not offering features that a novice could get around to using after using the product for a while. The ParaShoot, on the other hand, doesn’t pen in users to a limited feature set, but instead adds new features that help make the device easier to get started with. A great example of this is its Loop Tap recording mode; when this is activated, your ParaShoot will continuously record the last five minutes of whatever you’re doing. Whenever you feel that something warrants saving, you simply press a button and it’s there for you whenever you need it. The pressure of choosing when to shoot footage is taken off the user, it’s simply a matter of deciding what’s worth saving after the fact.
With a traditional video camera, this would be a gimmick, but since the ParaShoot is intended for you to wear on a lapel or similar, there’s really not reason not to be filming. This sort of device is great for having on your person just in case the chance of a great bit of footage creeps up on you, but with this mode, it’s something of a no-brainer to capture great moments whenever. Of course, the functionality of the camera doesn’t stop there. Once you’re a bit better acquainted with how to use the ParaShoot, and indeed what sort of footage you’re looking for, then there are plenty of different options that you can choose from as to how you go about collecting that footage.
One method is by setting the device to capture either a video clip or a still image at set times throughout the day. This can be whatever you choose, and the device will simply fire into action throughout the day to capture whatever it is that you’re doing at the time. It’s a great way to photoblog, and since you don’t have to physically take the picture or video yourself, it can be a great way of getting completely unplanned shots that you might not be able to get any other way. These files can either be saved to the onboard MicroSD card, or wirelessly uploaded to the cloud for you to access at any time from your home computer, phone or tablet.
There’s another feature of the ParaShoot which, while it might not offer much in the way of practicality, certainly embodies the sense of fun that the device lends to photography and video recording. The front face of your device can be customized to your specifications with decals featuring just about anything you’d like; your favourite colour, abstract graphics, the logo of your sports team—it’s up to you. It might seem like something of a frivolous feature, but the thinking behind it actually makes a lot of sense. The device is intended for everyday wear, and for it to work it needs to be visible to those around you, so it can in turn seem them. That means that, whatever its physical design, it’s likely not going to be right for the broad range of users that its designers hope will adopt the device. So, offering decals means that each individual user can wear something that suits them, as well as being able to make the device their own.
As far as wearable cameras go, the ParaShoot is a perfect entry-level device that won’t become obsolete as users become more familiar with how to operate it. In fact, even expert users will find a lot to enjoy with the ParaShoot, as what it does, it does very well. There are a few life-logging devices on the market that perform a similar function to the ParaShoot, but not many that can claim to do it in such a slick, well-designed package that makes it so easier to take and share great photos and video clips. The ParaShoot is available for pre-order now via its manufacturers store front on Shop Locket. Coming packaged with a 16GB MicroSD Memory Card for storing your footage, the ParaShoot is currently available at a price of $189 USD.