Autographer: Documenting your POV life
“There are places I remember, all my life, though some have changed.” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Earlier this year we first heard of the Autographer, a camera initially designed for Alzheimer patients.
The camera, about half the size of a pack of gum, would be worn by a clip on or a lanyard like a necklace . It would take photos automatically, based on motion, light changes, and give a GPS reading.
The patient would then be able to view the days events along with a map of the movement, and yes, even a temp. gauge.
Photographers wanted to explore this device, so it was tweaked; the lensing improved, and the settings menu adjusted.
After almost 3 months of wearing this device, I am blown away by what it does. And I’m not talking about the way it takes the photo in a seemingly random manner.
In a reverse concept of the “selfie”, this camera shoots silently, while you forget about it. And it captured my life in an unsuspecting manner. Perfect.
I mainly wear black shirts so the overall black profile of the unit had an easy blend. No goofy blocky silver cameras, like a Go-Pro sticking out of my head or chest. This is discreet.
How You Control it
You can set the unit on low, medium, or high which determines how many frames will be shot. You can also set it shoot a fast 9 frame sequence and make a sweet gif.
There is Bluetooth functionality so you can check you images on your smartphone, tablet, or computer as you shoot. There is no monitor on the camera itself.
You have a choice of sound on or off, and the status of the cameras operation can be visible or hidden. All of these functions are set by a 2 button control set flush to the unit.
The settings are visible via a blue set of characters, which show through the front of the unit.
To use the images, there is a free program which gives you import functions; the ability to look at images by date, streaming, cinema (which will put motion into a set of images), the ability to star or favorite.
When you select a single image, you get all of the meta data including GPS, map, temp, motion detection on/off and more.
here are some of the images I came out with:
They are still working on some functions which I was missing. Would have loved to been able to filter selects and then download all at once to a folder. Not the case yet.
You can filter the selected images and have those show up in a group, but you must download each separately. Fail.
There are ways to share via the usual suspects: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter. I think part of the goal is to also get sequences that you can export as videos in varying qualities.
480 up to 1080p, which is quite a mighty format for a unit this small.
And if you are not sure what may make a good sequence, or weren’t sure when you captured one, you can filter the images just for that purpose.
I’m sure some creative soul will shoot that mind blowing sequence that will touch us all. However, the real value I saw here was not so far off from what the camera’s original intent was: making a visual record of you life in a somewhat discreet manner.
However the included directions are woefully slim, based on what you may want to do with the images. I was able to communicate with the designer in London and get answers to my questions. Admittedly it was not always the answers I wanted ( “improvements still to come.”)
As sophisticated as this camera is, the price let’s you know, you are paying for every bit of it.
For a specialized purpose camera, $400. a hefty price tag. As a gift for the social scientist who has everything? Maybe. Or perhaps your favorite narcissist.
They did run a promotion recently for 30% off the MSRP. getting closer.
Another company who has been in this space much longer, Looxcie, is about to come out with a product we are told , lives in the same space. We’ll see.
I was really excited to see this product come to market, and I’m happy to have that visual record of the past few months.
Price will have to come way down to make this camera a hit.