Connected Objects Imaging

Tiny Graava action cam decides which scenes make the cut

With the formidable quality of video that can be captured by smartphones, there’s got to be something special offered by a camcorder to arouse interest. GoPro figured out that small size, ruggedness, a wide angle. It’s attracted a number of competitors, including Contour, Drift Innovation, Sony, C&A Marketing (using the Polaroid Cube brand) and, more recently, TomTom (yes, the GPS company) with a 4K camera called the Bandit.

Graava enters this crowded field with a small, polished gemstone-like camcorder that affixed to a range of bikes and apparel with the right mounts. Lacking an LCD as many of these products do, it has a grid of LEDs on its side that indicate the product’s status, and has an enclosed HDMI connector and microSD slot for expansion It can also be charged wirelessly using the Qi standard. What sets Graava apart is that it has the ability to analyze the video it captures and pick out the most interesting parts depending on how long the resulting video is. And when it’s not capturing extreme surfing, it can be used to capture the gentle sounds of a napping infant as a baby monitor.


E1 camera blends a 4K GoPro with interchangeable lenses

GoPros and other small cameras have become commonplace for allowing the capture of different perspectives. They’re rugged enough to brave the elements but have a fixed lens that make many shots look similar.

The E1 trades the GoPro’s ruggedness for some of the flexibility and quality of DSLR cameras. Instead of the fixed lens used by GoPro, it can take advantage of the lenses used by “micro four thirds” (MFT) cameras such as those from Olympus and Panasonic. Instead of using the the same fisheye effect to capture everything, MFT lenses can handle long telephoto zooms and wide-angle shots. The MFT system comes close to the quality of full-fledged DSLRs, but the lenses are quite a bit smaller. Even so, the combination can get a bit unwieldy for long zoom lenses.

Connected Objects Imaging

Onago drone follows and captures your finest moments on the go

For most extreme sports enthusiasts, recording their feats is a financial hassle. Outside of expensive camera systems, bulky drones, and helicopter rentals, the market for portable, affordable high-definition recording is woefully lacking. GoPro has positioned their cameras as an inexpensive solution, but only limited angles are available with it.

To address the need, ARI’s Onago is an intelligent, auto-follow drone equipped with a gimbal that can mount a GoPro. With this set up, anyone can dive into multi-angle video to record their aerial shenanigans. Onago is a beast in the air, as well, flying as high as 3000ft with a top speed of 35mph. To control it, the product can be synced to an iOS or Android smartphone to enable things like one touch take-off and return.

Aquatics Imaging

Video Diving System lets divers safely record wonders under the sea

Scuba diving is one of those sports that allow for killer views, like hiking or skydiving. However, unlike other sports, it can be difficult to take photos or record videos underwater.

The Video Diving System is a way for scuba divers to record their underwater adventures safely. This waterproof product consists of a compartment for GoPro, DLSR or smartphone cameras. A stabilizer makes sure that any footage captured is clear, even at night. The System can either be held by its grips on either side of the camera, attached to the diver or placed on a stable surface underwater. For a full list of cameras the Video Diving System is compatible with, check out the Indiegogo campaign.

While this is a product certain to be appreciated by many divers, it’s unclear if the cameras need to be switched on before entering the water and then just left on during the dive. That’s a point the creators may want to address. Still, the Video Diving System seems to have solved the underwater footage problem plaguing many divers. For their own, backers can donate $134 for delivery in August 2015. The funding goal is set for $35,000.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

CAMpanion lets you mount your smartphone screen right behind the GoPro

The small size of the GoPro camera makes it perfect for shooting extreme sports activity. But its diminutive size also can make it difficult to use for shooting everyday subjects and activity where a steady hand is required.

The CAMpanion is a solution to that issue, offering a new mounting system enabling all GoPro models to be attached to any smartphone or tablet. In addition to making sure that every shot is perfectly framed, the mounting system also makes it more comfortable for the user to shoot. Attaching the GoPro to a smartphone or tablet also adds features including lighting via the mobile device’s flashlight app. The accessory holds promise, offering a simple but handy solution for the surging number of GoPro users.

Users can mount the GoPro in less than a second by just snapping the camera onto the CAMpanion mounting plate. The accessory will ship in May and cost $40. Its makers set a goal of raising $28,000 by March 28 through Kickstarter.


Sidekick GoPro light attaches to camera, sheds some light on cool activities

Everyone knows that the best way to get adventure shot is with a GoPro. GoPros come in many shapes and sizes with different attachments making it possible to videotape or photograph any cool activity. Going bungee jumping? Attach that camera to your helmet. Rock climbing? Have it sitting on your shoulder for a cool view.

Any photographer knows that a photograph or video is only as good as its light. That’s why Sidekick was invented. This product is a companion light for the GoPro and provides a powerful 600 lumen flood beam to get a great shot. It mounts right next to the camera and is compatible with all current GoPro mounts. Sidekick has a rechargeable lithium battery with a run time of up to four hours and is waterproof down to 60 meters under water.

Backerjack has seen many products that have piggybacked off of the GoPro series’ success. Sidekick is one such product, but is quite useful and well-designed. It’s light weight and ease of use differentiate it from similar products, like the Triclops, and make it just the thing for any extreme backer. This product is looking to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter. One will cost backers $80 for delivery in March 2015.

Tech Accessories Technology

MicroJib camera holder boosts GoPro’s creative possibilities from all angles

The popularity of GoPro cameras has been a boon for the makers of camera accessories. The new MicroJib from a Denver, Colorado, inventor adds pan and tilt functionality to the GoPro, expanding the creative possibilities of the action camera.

Panning and tilting enables freedom in camera motions that weren’t previously achievable with other extension poles. Backers of the Kickstarter campaign who pledge amounts starting at $79 will be able to get a MicroJib when it ships in April. Backers who pay $99 will still be getting one at less than the expected $109 retail. Backers who pay $129 can get a  limited edition green and black model. The campaign is hoping to raise $24,000.

MicroJib seems like a good bet for GoPro owners. The accessory’s mount is only designed for GoPro cameras, which limits its potential appeal to owners of other cameras. But MicroJib’s maker is planning to offer a mount as an add-on that will let users mount any small camera to the device.


Chargers/Batteries Tech Accessories Technology

MOTA gives GoPro cameras a wireless charge

The GoPro camera is the go to device for anyone wanting to document their various adventures. However, when the battery runs out, it means extreme feats may not be documented.

San Jose, California-based company MOTA has developed a wireless charger that features technology specially optimized for the GoPro camera. The MOTA Wireless Charger for GoPro is compatible with GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4 models, and can charge the cameras from 0 to 100% in 3.5-4 hours. The company, however, is working on shortening that time to 2-2.5 hours. The charger is best used during camera downtime and when the GoPro is not in the wireless charger, the user can charge an extra battery. Charging multiple devices doesn’t affect the charging times. Backers for the device’s Kickstarter campaign will get a charger for $55 when it ships in May as part of an early bird special. The charger will retail at more than $100. MOTA is looking to raise $15,000.

MOTA will likely come in handy for many GoPro users. Its campaign goal also seems much more achievable than the similar Jolt charger that recently failed to meet its goal. A shorter charging time will certainly spell success for MOTA.

Chargers/Batteries Imaging

SunnyBAG action case stores GoPro and charges it with solar energy

Any extreme daredevil knows that the best way to capture cool stunts is to use a GoPro camera. These cameras’ durability and versatility make them perfect to take to rivers, mountains, cliffs, jungles or any other daredevil-y place.

Up until now, GoPro cases have been rather lame compared to the cameras themselves. Introducing SunnyBAG: a GoPro case that not only protects these cameras wherever they may go, but also charges them. The case is covered with solar panels that soak up rays, turning them into battery life for the GoPro. In addition, the case can also charge smartphones, tablets, Google Glass, smartwatches and any other USB compatible device.

While the charging time for devices supported by SunnyBAG may be on the longer side, this case is still very interesting. It’s ideal for thrill seekers who spend the whole day on the move looking for the next piece of action. Backers can have their very own by April 2015 for $89, if SunnyBAG can meet its $30,000 goal on Indiegogo.

Imaging Wearables

Get your GoPro extreme video on your wrist with the Removu P1

GoPro has established itself as the de-facto action camera brand on the market. As such, it is the first choice for many extreme sports enthusiasts. One of their most recent products, the GoPro LCD BacPac, gives users a touchscreen LCD that allows control and playback of photos and videos directly from the GoPro camera itself. The downside to this is that it isn’t happening on the fly, limiting how much control you have over the final product.

The Removu P1 addresses this problem by being a Wi-Fi mount for the GoPro BacPac, facilitating a live view from the GoPro to the device on your wrist. Since its display is also touch, it doubles as a remote control from the GoPro itself, giving you additional control over what your final video will look like. With a three hour video capacity, there’ll be a lot of decisions to make when it comes to editing, but luckily you can do so from the Removu P1 itself.

The product will no doubt be useful but those who would want something like this will probably be in the minority. The Removu P1 is currently $69 during their $30,000 campaign, with an estimated delivery date of January 2015.