Agua will help your camera make it through the rain

There are many weatherproof camera cases on the market. But it can be hard to quickly get a camera out of most of them, which means photographers could easily miss an important shot.

Agua is a weatherproof case that will protect cameras from a storm, but it’s been designed so that users can quickly pull it out and take a photo. There is no need for a separate camera strap because the camera gets attached to the bag via a quick-release buckle that allows the user to just pull it out of the bag to take a shot, but also protects the camera from falling. The bag is also padded on the inside, so users don’t need to keep the cap on the camera, allowing it to be ready for use at any time. There is also a special pocket for a lens cap to make sure that it doesn’t get lost.


LensPacks help photographers change lenses in a flash

Changing between lenses when using an interchangeable-lens camera can be a time-consuming process, especially when making multiple changes within the span of a few minutes. In part, that’s because camera users must be sure to close their cases each time to make sure the lenses still in the bag don’t fall out and break.

patent-claimedLensPacks is a patent-pending, quick-change camera lens storage system that eliminates the need to change rear lens caps. The storage system uses Velcro to keep lens caps securely fastened to the insides of nearly any camera cases, so that the user can quickly attach a lens to each cap in the bag. Then, even if the bag is left open and turned upside down, the lenses won’t fall out. For about $25, consumers can get two LensPacks Velcro lens holders, and they ship in December. Its maker set a Kickstarter goal of raising $9,869 by May 28.

The product holds great promise, although its market is limited for now because the initial LensPacks only support Nikon F-Mount, Canon EF, Sony E Mount, and Micro Four Thirds interchangeable-lens systems. But compatibility for more lens systems is planned for the future.


Smart Home

iSensor HD Patio outdoor security camera senses trouble in rain or shine

While there are many outdoor security cameras on the market, many are not specifically designed for outdoor use. What’s more, many of them provide mediocre images at best, in part because they are stationary and lack the ability to pan.

The iSensor HD Patio outdoor security camera stands out in this regard. The product was specifically designed for use outside the home and is housed in a clear, weather resistant casing. It can be controlled remotely by users via both Android and iOS apps. The camera comes standard with 4 GB of onboard memory and can remotely pan 170 degrees via a user’s mobile device. Further, the camera has a motion sensor and a 240 degree range of view without distortion, according to its Indiegogo campaign. If suspicious activity is detected, the camera will instantly inform users via notifications, snapshots, and HD-quality video that is automatically uploaded to the user’s Google Drive; all for no extra charge. It comes in a choice of black or white at $199 and will ship in May. Its maker is looking to raise $1,000 by April 5.

ISensor HD Patio holds great promise, offering clear advantages over many rival products.

Automotive Connected Objects Imaging Safety

CarVi driving assistant lets you keep more eyes on the road

editors-choiceMany folks have been tempted by the high-tech safety features in newer cars, but wish there was a way to get them into their existing vehicles economically.

That is the goal of the makers of CarVi, a small, circular black driving assistance device that attaches easily via a bracket onto the windshield of just about any car. The device adds an extra set of eyes, monitoring a driver’s position in a lane and the location of the car in front of it. CarVi warns drivers if they are too close to the car in front, and if it senses any potential trouble will issue audible and visual warnings.

The device comes equipped with a camera capturing 720p HD video that CarVi analyzes in real time. Owners can set it to record 40-second to one-minute video onto a memory card whenever certain events occur, such as tailgating incidents. The user can then transfer that video to an Android or iOS smartphone for viewing later. Alternatively, CarVi can function as a full-time recorder if the driver desires. CarVi can also provide suggestions via the accompanying app on how to improve driver skills after the car is turned off. CarVi will cost $299 when it ships in August. Its makers are hoping to raise $100,000 by March 20.

The device holds some promise, especially for elderly drivers and the parents of new drivers. But similar products, such as Truvolo and Zubie, have already offered the same kind of functionality with varying degrees of success. While the warnings could indeed help drivers avoid accidents, it remains to be seen if many drivers will actually be willing to hear tips about how to improve their driving once they turn the engine off.


Imaging Video

One-touch Flagg’it makes editing sporting highlights less of drag

Over the last few years, sports have embraced action cameras as a way to capture those incredible moments that are often missed to later share with others. Their usually small sizes offer high-quality HD recording options, but their downside lies in having to manually turn them on and off which ultimately takes the focus off the action.

Flagg’it is a wearable button that functions as an instant marker for any and all cameras someone may have. A single button press marks a video track with a flag, and the included Flagg’it software allows users to import their video with the attached flags. Having these markers lets users more easily edit their video without having to review the entire thing for notable moments, a process that can easily eat up so much time.

Those behind Flagg’it are banking on the fact that it’s easier to begin the editing process in the moment rather than back at a computer, so they’ve made it easy to do so. The device doesn’t function through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi but rather emits an audio signal which it uses to sync instead, allowing Flagg’it to work with any camera at any distance. And its 50 hours or more of battery life relieves batteries worries, too. A Flagg’it device goes for $69, and is expected to ship July 2015 if the campaign raises $50,000.

What Flagg’it does, it does very well. Sports enthusiasts will no doubt absolutely love the ability to set up flags on their recorded video in real time, so its functionality will be met with warm welcome. It’s also shock, dust, and shock resistant, but even then it isn’t certain Flagg’it will be able to truly withstand the punishment it surely will receive.

Connected Objects Imaging

CamNGo enables remote video streaming from virtually anywhere

The Premise. Sometimes we fantasize about the scenes that go on around us, which we know we can never be a part of. We’ve all said things like “I wish I could have been there to see that!” or “I would have paid to see the expression on his face when… ” and the ever popular and overused phrase “to be a fly on the wall…” And sometimes, it’s not fantasy, but a comfort to be able to peer in to a place without physically being there– think baby monitors and nanny cams.

The Product. CamNGo enables you to record videos with sound from almost anywhere. Its coaster-like compact and smart design makes it easy to mount to most surfaces, and incorporates a SIM card so you can stream live footage straight to your smartphone – even if the camera is not connected to Wi-Fi. You can also use the app to take still images from the video with the press of a button. Battery life is about 10 hours, but video storage capacity is about 3 hours. It’s unknown if footage can be automatically backed-up to your smartphone for continuous use over the life of the battery.

 The Pitch. The campaign video, while energetic, takes us into territory that vaguely borders on creepy. Watching it, you may wonder if the product was innocently inspired by a father who wanted to record a perfect day spent with his daughter, or by a boyfriend who wanted to record a perfect all-nighter with some guy’s daughter. There’s also a shady scene showing two men exchanging money while another man looks on, obviously pleased. And let’s not forget the assumed husband peering on his wife who is enjoying a private moment while cleaning the house. One that is not only being watched, but also being shared to an assumed mutual friend: creeptacular. Pair that with these words from the campaign website, “This camera … allows you the control and the knowledge of the special times, the expected and unexpected times, the magical times, and all the little surprises on the way which make life so meaningful.” and you have stumbled upon the stalker’s mantra.

The Perks. Backer perks range from $5 to $100,000 with the highest levels intended for prospective distributors. If you’d like to secure yourself a CamNGo in either bright white or metallic pink (odd choices for something that may be want to be used discreetly), you can take advantage of an early bird special for $169. For Black or Metallic Silver CamNGos you’ll need to shell out an additional $10.

The Potential. If you can look past the product campaign, you will see that there are many practical and justifiable applications for a product of this nature. There are many other remote-controlled Internet cams out there, but few of the popular ones have cellular capability. If funded, it could have the potential to challenge the video-dedicated giant that GoPro has become. The campaign goal is hefty at $100,000, however it’s a flexible funding campaign so founders will receive all funds raised over the campaign’s 40 days, even if it does not make goal. If CamNGo goes into production, we can only hope that it does not turn into a “CamNCreep”.

Cycling Video

Blinking Fly6 bikecam lets tailing motorists know they’re being watched

The Premise. For those who bike to commute or just for fun, laws and convenience tie them to the same streets that cars speed down. Every intersection is an accident waiting to happen, every passing car might not notice the cyclist doing his best to move with traffic beside him. As a result, cyclists are constantly in fear of something much faster and heavier than they forcing them off the road.

The Product. The Fly6 is a combination LED taillight/HD camera that clips right to the seat post and can record the traffic behind for up to 5 hours. The philosophy behind this design is that it will alert motorists to cyclists, and at the same time let them know they are being recorded should they try to do anything dangerous or reckless. Every Fly6 comes with a USB-rechargeable lithium ion battery and an 8GB microSD card.

The Pitch. Introducing the Fly6 are Australian inventors Andrew Hagen and Kingsley Fiegert. Kingsley explains that the inspiration for the device came about when a car full of inconsiderate young people pulled up beside him in a motorcycle and shot him point blank with a slingshot, nearly causing him serious injury. Shocked by the incident, he forgot to take down the license plate number. A number of demonstrations are shown, illustrating the taillight strobe and the camera recording functions, as well as how the current model is waterproof. At the end, the two cleverly reveal that the entire video was shot using a Fly6, illustrating its quality. Andrew and Kingsley are asking for $95,000 AUD to finalize the design, streamline the software, patent the device, and more.

The Perks. $119 AUD ($15 AUD to ship outside of Australia) is all it takes to get a Fly6, delivered in May 2014. A special white model is available for slightly more. At the highest, $399 AUD tier,  backers will be shipped a prototype in March with free shipping, to test out and provide feedback before the finished product launches, which they will also receive.

The Potential. The Fly6 could be to cyclists what the insurance dashboard camera is for Russian motorists. Not only does it provide a real safety need, but it could lead to a new generation of viral videos as one of the promo videos hints.