Sorry, Star Wars fans. The R2D3 combination fitness band and sports camera won’t bleep and bloop its way into a user’s heart, but it will edit the most intense moments of their workout routines or adventures into social media-ready chunks based on algorithmically-backed presets. In a crowded field of increasingly uninspiring smart bands, the R2D3 succeeds in at least offering something different.
This hybrid sports all the expected features of a useful fitness band: step, distance, and calories counters along with a heart rate monitor. These sensors join a 1080p HD camera that shoots 30fps and an 8MP camera sensor with 120° field of view to do its best GoPro impression. And like the GoPro, the R2D3 can be attached to many parts of the body or equipment like the wrist, ankle, a book bag, or even a drone. It boasts a 72-hour battery life, with just 1.5 of those hours capable of taking video.
Luckily, an extra battery pack tacks on another five hours to the mix. Of course, there’s an iOS, Android, and (gasp!) Windows app available for the device where goal setting and auto video editing are contained. All in all, the 16 GB R2D3 is a better buy now at $199 than at its seemlingly inflated estimated launch price of $699 and is slated to ship in January of 2017. The suspiciously sparse media-sparse Indiegogo campaign is looking for $30,000 by June 1st, 2016.
The R2D3 is an interesting idea with some dubious paradoxes. The idea of a wrist or ankle-mounted video of a person exercising doesn’t exactly entice, and attaching the camera anywhere else but the body defeats the purpose of a fitness band in the first place. But while there’s something in its auto-editing feature, the team behind the product needs to put more thought into it in order to really make it something that stands out.