With smartphone cameras constantly improving and the cost of their camera components dropping, there’s the impetus to put cameras into just about anything — cars, doorbells, pet collars and… things that look like mutated Gumbys.
Flex Cam PIC takes what appears to be a low-end smartphone camera (5 megapixel stills, 720p HD video) and throws it into a rubbery casing that allows it to be wrapped around a great variety of objects from bicycle handles to hula hoops. The device sports 16 GB of flash memory and a small internal battery that’s good for only about an hour of video. Taking a cue from the action cam world, it shoots with a wide angle (124°) and is waterproof. While it offers remote activation via Bluetooth, images and video are transferred over USB for higher-speed transfer.
But what the Flex Cam lacks in imaging prowess, it makes up for in personality. The South Korean team behind the product is offering the device in a variety of bright colors. In addition the basic design, there’s an even sillier assortment of characters that incorporate visual frills such as Frankenstein-like bolt necks, a tiny baseball cap, and even multiple eyes above the cyclops-like device. Its developers are using Indiegogo to raise just $10,000 by May 20. They’re offering the basic version for $89 and the character models for $99; orders should ship in September. Several packs of multiple Flex Cams are available.
Flex Cam PIC has a few things in common with the stick-anywhere Podo cam. Both use yesterdays’s smartphone camera to capture videos and stills just about anywhere on the cheap. Podo has the slight resolution advantage but it will be tough to compete with the Flex Cam for pure fun. Once kids and preteens get their hands on it, YouTube will never be the same.