The QindredCam is one of those interesting products that doesn’t come around too often, but when it does, I try to get my hands on it and cook up a review. In this case I did just that and became a beta tester. One thing to note in this review is that the QindredCam is still in beta, so what you’re seeing isn’t exactly what you’ll be getting. Things might change, new features might be added or current ones might be removed, you never know. Just remember that much of what I’m saying should still be relevant at the final release.
So what exactly IS the QindredCam? It’s a wearable lifelogging camera, similar to yet better than the Narrative Clip, if you’ve ever heard of that before. What you do is either clip it on to your clothing via the built-in swiveling metal clip, or you hang it on your neck with the included cord. Throughout your day the QindredCam takes pictures either on cue or on its own. It can also produce videos on demand as well. In essence, it helps you to save memories from your day that might otherwise be lost to time.
There are a few different modes the QindredCam boasts. For one, it has a setting to capture images at a fixed interval (this mode sticks for up to a half hour), or it can intelligently detect faces to snap the picture. That is the main reason this is a unique camera – the face detection. Most other wearable cameras simply take a picture every couple of minutes, no matter if you have a coat on over it, or if you’re facing a really bright light, for example. They have no idea if it’s a worthy shot or not. In addition, they can also miss great shots, such as with an active child. You might not always have the time to pull out your phone and grab the quick picture before the memory is lost forever. That’s the main thing the QindredCam attempts to do.
With it’s 1080p HD Sony image sensor, high quality pictures and videos are almost a given. I noticed that shots were extremely clear under proper lighting, but low light performance did suffer. Videos were sharp as well and as long as I wasn’t walking around or moving too much, they were stable.
The QindredCam connects to your (currently only Android, iOS is in beta) device through Bluetooth for setup and to gain info about the camera itself. While in the app, you can also see a live preview from the camera’s point of view. It also uses WiFi to upload pictures and videos as you go about your day. This is an extremely important aspect of the QindredCam, seeing as it only has 4GB of internal storage. Despite that downfall, it offers a microSD card slot on the side, just in case you know you’ll be away from WiFi for awhile and need to save your captures.
I think the camera looks pretty cool as it is, with the orange and white color scheme. However, once the product exits the beta, it will have a radically different design. The beta testers’ feedback is heavily influencing their decision on how to make it look for the final release. The necklace/cord is removable, while the clip is not.
You can pretty much throw the QindredCam anywhere, because the clip lets you turn the camera any way you need to attach it, and still have it facing up. The cord could be used to tie it to something if you really wanted, but in essence, there’s tons of ways to wear it. Personally, I’ve got it hanging around my neck, with the cord adjusted so the camera is in the middle of my chest. I’ve found this offers the most stability in capturing pictures and videos.
The camera has a microUSB charging port on the bottom, and the camera and a bulbous sensor on the front (I don’t know what it does). The right hand side has the microSD card port (I don’t know what size this supports, or what format), while the top has the power button/LED and a red LED indicating an on demand picture or video capture when lit. Microphones are found scattered throughout the camera’s orange and white plastic body.
Now that you know a bit more about the camera itself, what comes in the (simple) box? What I received in my beta test kit was:
- One microUSB cable (standard, to USB)
- One QindredCam
- One necklace cord
- One USB AC adapter (for wall charging)
I was a little surprised to find absolutely no users’ manual or quick start guide packaged with the device. I wanted to get started immediately but had to wait until Acumulus9 sent me the manual. Now, I’m positive this won’t be the case with the final release, but it was odd nonetheless.
The Qindred service itself is obviously a work in progress, and it shows. Again, this is an early release, so don’t plan on it being like that later this spring when you get your own camera. One thing I’ve really liked about the service is that it automatically improves photos. It either crops out parts that aren’t a face or person, or it enhances the pictures. I’ve found this to work very well.
Battery life is quite adequate with my unit. At the end of the day, I usually have about 60 or 70 percent remaining, and that’s after having it on all day.
The only problem I’ve noticed so far is with capturing media on demand. In theory, you should be able to tap on the front to either take a picture or record a video, but I’ve found that this doesn’t always work. The only instance when I can initiate capturing is when I’m at home and on my home WiFi network. I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t be that way, and I’ve contacted Acumulus9 to let them know.
Overall, if you’re frequently around people you want to have memories of, this device is a great choice. It’s quite unique in that it makes pictures even better by automatically editing them, and only taking them at the right time. Pictures and video are crisp when taken in good conditions, and it will save most moments of your day perfectly.
The QindredCam will be available for purchase soon at $149.
Want some more specs? Find them linked here.
Interested in more unique content like this? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to keep it coming.
Want sample footage? Find it linked here.