Imaging Interviews Wearables

The Backerjack Interview: Narrative’s Oskar Kalmaru on the evolving wearable camera

Raising over half a million dollars as Memoto, the Narrative Clip has been a pioneer in the field of wearable cameras. Originally marketing a life-logging device, the company has seen its cameras embraced for more diverse scenarios. Backerjack caught up with Narrative CMO and co-founder Oskar Kalmaru to discuss what the company has learned from the first Clip. Kalmaru also discussed some of the cool features of the Clip 2, which will include better image quality, better connectivity and 3D-printable mounts, but take a pass on Kickstarter.

Backerjack: It’s been about a year since the Narrative Clip shipped. What have you been hearing from your customers?

Kalmaru: It’s a really nice feeling to be able to go from being a Kickstarter project where everything is just pre-everything – pre-users, pre-product —  to having an actual product out with actual users actually using it and seeing that it does work. It does help people to live in the moment and capture things as they happen and relax in the moment and still get photos out of it People use it in 52 countries now and have been using it for travel, taking pictures of their families, photographing weddings.

Backerjack: From those use cases, it sounds like people are using it more situationally rather than wearing it all day every day and sorting through the photos. When I tried the product, I was pleased with the picture quality but it makes you realize you’re not doing the most exciting stuff every day.

Kalmaru: It’s a camera that’s great for life-logging if that’s what you want to do. But if it isn’t, it’s great for a lot of other things, too. And as with most wearables, what we’re seeing now is that they aren’t necessarily meant to be used all the time. There are a few wearables that are used all the time — maybe your watch, maybe your glasses. You use the camera in situations where it would make sense. It could be having dinner with friends, spending time hiking with your family. It could be doing things that are maybe out of the ordinary or you want to be able to do those activities and stay in the moment and still capture it.

Backerjack: When you launched, you had a competitor that was priced quite a bit higher. It looks like they’ve exited the hardware market so what do you take away from that? Do you think it was just the price point they were at? Or is it a setback for the category?

Kalmaru: I can’t really tell why they pulled out. We’re having a fantastic year. We have users from all over the world using it all the time. We raised another $8 million from Khosla Ventures in Menlo Park. Again, this is proving that this category is the future. Just look at the trends. The photo trend, that’s one megatrend. There are two billion photos uploaded every single day and you have the wearable trend next to that. People are getting more and more used to wearables devices. Combine those two and you have wearable cameras.