CES 2015: Wearable Tech Brands Want to Life-Stream Your Narrative


CES 2015 Narrative Clip 2

The ability to record both the unassuming and grand moments of our lives, whether in public or private venues, has been a seachange for consumers, marketers and our collective storytelling gestalt as reality and virtual reality continue to coalesce.

That change is apparent at CES 2015 in Las Vegas this week, as brands aim to bring “lifelogging” into the mainstream and consumers are urged to life-stream and become the stars in their own social broadcast—just in case you’re not sick of those GoPro selfie sticks already.[more]

Narrative 2 clip CES 2015

Narrative made waves with its always-on device, an ever-present camera that helps consumers live-stream their daily lives. The device combines the capabilities of Instagram, Pinterest, GoPro and Facebook in a discreet item that can be worn on your lapel or otherwise clipped on your person.

Now the Narrative Clip 2 is making its debut at CES 2015 this week, delivering changes requested by early users including a flexible, pinnable mount, improved image quality—from a 5-megapixel sensor to a 90-degree, 8-megapixel unit—and the addition of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to USB enabling syncing of images to phones and the company’s own service.

Consumers are demanding that smart tech meets community, and companies are quick to comply: the Narrative Clip 2 is supported by a “Public Moments” timeline that lives inside the Narrative Android Smartphone App so that users can quickly share their photos and videos.

Addressing the reason why devices with such connectivity and recording capacities are flooding the market, the Narrative Clip 2 storyline reads:

“Science tells us that our memories are rewritten slightly every time we recall them. Our brain fills in the gaps of details that are no longer clear to us. Remembering our lives, especially times that in retrospect are precious, is engrained in the human experience. We draw, tell, write, photograph and film our stories so we can re-experience, heal, impart knowledge and live on after our time.”

The Narrative Clip 2 will be available in Apple-approved white (or black or red) for $199, but is also keeping its original device available for $149. 

Narrative’s CES blog notes other brands at the show such as still-in-beta LifeLogger, which it describes as “a wearable video camera that you can wear on the back of your head that is similar to Google glass. We’re always keen on seeing more companies in our industry of providing powerful tools to better keep a record of your life.”

Liquid Image’s $400 Ego LS camera is also aiming to give GoPro a run for the money, and announced a partnership with Verizon for its POV camera with streaming data at CES.

Also exhibiting at CES, iON is promoting SnapCam, its $150 wearable life-logging camera. The pitch, as described in its CES video (below): 

The iON SnapCam™ isn’t your typical camera. Sure, it takes amazing video and connects wirelessly to your smartphone for instant uploading, but here’s the SnapCam difference: You wear it. At 1.5 inches square and weighing in at less than an ounce, the SnapCam attaches directly to your clothes with a clip or magnet. And when you’re ready to shoot, just tap the SnapCam once, twice, or three times for immediate stills, video, or live streaming. The SnapCam is the first of its kind, and it’ll change the way you capture your favorite memories.

In the not too distant future, the omnipresence of virtual reality will bring live-streaming to life-streaming. 

Case in point: Hearst’s Elle magazine plans to livestream its fashion shows and is weighing Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard. “It’s going into environments that the consumer heretofore never had access,” said Kevin O’Malley, Elle’s SVP and Publisher, to Adweek

“I knew that virtual reality would become important to the public at some point, but I thought it would take a much longer time,” Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey told Adweek.

“I did not take into account the fact that unlike some new technologies, VR has already established mindshare as a concept,” he added. “Time travel, flying cars, artificial intelligence and VR are all sci-fi staples—and we are in the lucky position of bringing one of those things to life.”

Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift last year aimed to make virtual reality mainstream, with partners such as Samsung making VR more attainable for consumers. Brands are investing in the technology as a marketing platform as its popularity grows.

Already, Marriott Hotels is “teleporting travelers” to the beaches of Hawaii and downtown London in a 4D virtual travel experience and considering making the Oculus Rift a permanent fixture in its hotels.

British Columbia’s tourism bureau invested $550,000 in an Oculus-powered production with helicopters and GoPro cameras to show-off the province’s mountain ranges and Vancouver Island area, with three-minute clips shared with UK-based Thomas Cook travel agency.

Wearable tech is making lifeloggers of us all, as brands track, capture and reshape users’ behavioral data into actionable insights. Lifelog is even the name of Sony’s API for wearables, which was released at CES on Monday.

Click here for more coverage from CES 2015.


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