Greetings, you’re listening to the Liam Photography Podcast, I’m your host Liam Douglas and this is Episode 177. In this episode I want to talk about a new bit of tech for photography/videography and that is the WristCam for Apple Watch.
There were rumors a while back that Facebook was interested in making their next foray into first party hardware by making their own smartwatch. The interesting part of the rumors is that Facebook’s Smartwatch would have not one but two cameras. Other wearable makers have been kicking around the idea of photography and videography but it’s never been mainstream.
And for their part Smartwatch industry leader Apple doesn’t even seem to be in a hurry to release an Apple Watch with cameras and as a result, WristCam beat them to the punch. WristCam recently released their Apple Watch band sporting two cameras with the ability to shoot 4K images and 1080p video. WristCam released their product late last year after a success crowdfunding campaign.
Now WristCam is going the more traditional route, raising $25 million led by Marker LLC. “We will use the funding to scale our team, WristCam production, go to market and R&D of our computer vision engine for wearables,” CEO Ari Roisman told TechCrunch back in June of this year.
“Part of that funding involves effectively doubling the company’s headcount by early next year and helping deliver updates to some of the demands and concerns that have arisen since the product’s “public beta” launch this past December.
Among the upcoming features are live video. The company says it has sold “thousands” of units, which currently retail for $299 on the WristCam site, which is $20 more than the Apple Watch SE sells for. The company says it ran into Covid-19 supply chain issues earlier this year, but has pushed through and is now fulfilling orders daily.
“I see cameras continuing to be a core part of the iPhone strategy, with DSLR quality equivalence, including Pro offerings prices north of $1,000,” the exec says. “Meanwhile, I see continued Apple Watch focus on quantified health and wellness, as opposed to power, data and real estate intensive functionality that could conflict with the iPhone strategy.
So, what are the details about this new product? Well, I am going to give the data to you straight from the maker’s site and emails I have exchanged with them.
Can I turn the LED light off?
No, the LED light will always go on as an indicator that Wristcam is in use.
Can Wristcam handle notifications?
Your notifications are all handled through your Apple Watch. There will be periodic updates to the Wristcam software, to enable Apple Watch notifications, as we add more features and capabilities to the device and its supporting app.
How can Wristcam be operated manually?
A single button on Wristcam performs all of the functions: a single quick press of the button initiates a quick photo capture, a long- 1sec-press will start recording video, with a quick tap after to stop recording. You can view the images and videos you captured with the Wristcam app.
How do I check the battery level?
You can always check your battery status from the settings tab on your iPhone app or from the splash screen displayed on your Apple watch when Wristcam connects. When your Wristcam is running low on battery you will see a red intermittent pulse on the self-facing LED indicator.
How does Wristcam sync with my Apple Watch?
Wristcam uses Bluetooth to sync with your iPhone and WiFi to upload the high quality images and videos.
How Many Mega Pixels does Wristcam Have?
HD video quality. The outward-facing camera and the self-facing camera produces either 720p or 1080p videos at 30 FPS depending on your selection.
8MP World-Facing + 2MP Self-Facing
1080P HD Video
3840X2160 High Resolution Photo
How much storage does Wristcam have?
Wristcam has 8GB onboard flash memory. Photos and videos sync with your iPhone’s photo gallery when connected.
What are the dimensions and weight?
Size: 3.15L x 2.15H x 1.00W in
Thickness: 0.41 in
What does the button on my Wristcam do?
You can use it to turn your Wristcam on and off, help pair your device, capture photos with a single tap, long-press to start recording video and a quick tap after to stop recording double.
What is the battery life? How many hours of continuous use can Wristcam sustain on a full charge?
With Wristcam, you can capture hundreds of photos or approximately 30 minutes of video per charge. Battery life varies with use, settings, and other factors so the actual results may vary.
What is the camera resolution?
Wristcam boasts 8MP for its outward-facing camera and 2MP for it’s self-facing.
Wristcam provides HD video quality. The outward-facing camera and the self-facing camera produces either 720p or 1080p videos at 30 FPS depending on your selection.
The Wristcam comes set at 720p, so if you prefer 1080p videos please follow the steps below:
Please ensure your Wristcam has at least 60% battery level. If needed please charge it a few hours before proceeding.
Turn on the Wristcam and connect with your iPhone.
On the iPhone Wristcam app you will click on the Settings tab (it looks like a wheel on the lower right side of the app).
Then scroll down to the “Advanced Camera Settings,” then click on “Video Resolution.” When there- you may click on 1080p.
When you exit and return to check the resolution it should be 1080p. You may change the video resolution at any time following the above steps.
What kind of sensors are you using?
Wristcam uses Sony camera sensors, which do not interfere with the Apple Watch sensors.
What makes Wristcam unique?
Only Wristcam allows you to take high-resolution photos and shoot videos with the self-facing and outward-facing cameras, all from the band of your Apple Watch.
Can I adjust the Wristcam to ensure a snug fit?
We made sure you can adjust your band for a snug, comfortable fit. Wristcam is great for sports and ensures the heart rate sensor on your Apple Watch won’t miss a beat.
Can left-handed users wear Wristcam?
Of course! Wristcam is comfortable and convenient for righties and lefties alike.
Does Wristcam fit any Apple Watch?
Yes. The band connection for the Apple Watch Series 4 and later is not different from the previous Series, even though the screen size is larger.
Does Wristcam record sound?
Absolutely. Wristcam has a dedicated microphone for recording sound.
Please ensure you have the volume set as normal or on the highest level as needed.
Is Wristcam waterproof?
Wristcam can be used anywhere your Apple Watch can be used. Feel free to wear it in the rain, during exercise, washing hands, etc. Wristcam is IP68 Compliant. This means that it can be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean (Up to 1 meter (or 3.3 feet) underwater) for up to 30 minutes, but should not be used for scuba diving, water skiing, or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth.
What are the different features available?
Wristcam allows for the easy capture of photos and videos directly from your wrist without the need of having your iPhone with you. You can snap photos and record videos with the 8MP outward-facing camera, or record a video message and take selfies with the 2MP self-facing camera. Your captured content is synced with your iPhone when connected, and you can share photos and videos from your Apple Watch and iPhone.
What colors are available?
For the initial launch you will be able to choose from Blanc (White), Noir (Black), Gray, Rose for the 38mm and 40mm Apple Watch, and Sage for the 42mm and 44mm Apple Watch. We’ll have seasonal and limited edition colors in the future.
What is the difference between the self-facing and outward-facing cameras?
The 2MP self-facing camera allows you to take selfies, and speak straight into the camera to stream a video of yourself. The 8MP outward-facing camera lets you capture moments as they happen.
What materials is the Wristcam band made from?
Wristcam is made using high-quality, flexible, and durable silicone.
What sizes do you offer?
Wristcam is custom made for Apple Watch. Choose the Wristcam size based on
the size of your 38/40mm, or 42/44mm Apple Watch.
What specific products is Wristcam compatible with?
Wristcam is only compatible with Apple Watch. To use Wristcam, you need to have installed watchOS 6.X or later. Please note, according to Apple Website, any Apple Watch Series 1 or later is compatible with watchOS 6.
Please note the Apple Watch Series 3 and lower uses Bluetooth 4.2. We have upgraded the Wristcam to support Bluetooth 5. What does that mean? A slower connection. Therefore for the Apple Watch Series 3 and lower, you may expect a slower response time from the app from connecting the device to preview.
Which size is best for me?
The Wristcam 38/40mm option can be adjusted from 135mm to 190mm and the Wristcam 42/44mm option can be adjusted from 145mm to 200mm.
Why is the Wristcam camera its size/so large compared to other mobile device cameras?
The size of the Wristcam has evolved as we added further capabilities that extended beyond the optics. We built an independent camera with dual optics, multi-direction mics and with its own all day battery and communications system that weighs less than 23 grams.
Do I have to charge Wristcam first before using it for the first time?
It is recommended to charge Wristcam for at least 4 hours before using it for the first time .
How long does it take to charge Wristcam?
It will take 3 hours to fully charge the device, which will allow you to capture hundreds of photos or approximately 30 minutes of video per charge. You can also quick charge your Wristcam for 1 hours and get up to 35 percent of your battery charged (or 10.5 mins of video active use).
How long is the charging cable?
Wristcam charging cable is 1 meter (3 feet, 3.4 inches) long.
Is this the only way to charge Wristcam?
Yes, this is the only option to charge – with the provided charging cable. To charge your Wristcam, use only an approved Wristcam Cable and Power Adapter or genuine Apple Power Adapter that is MFI Certified for your Apple products, in a well-ventilated area.
Use of a damaged Wristcam Cable or Power Adapter or attempting to charge Wristcam in the presence of moisture can result in electric shock, personal harm, fire, or damage to Wristcam or other property. Do not cover Wristcam with a blanket, pillow, or other covering while charging.
Now, in addition to the above items I mentioned from the wristcam.com website, I am also including some sample images and videos from my WristCam and I also did a full unbox and review video that you can see on my Youtube channel, here.
Is the WristCam for you? Well, only you can decide that for yourself, it is a great product and the world facing camera does a really nice job of capturing photos and video, but the Selfie Camera needs some work. At 2MP it is noisy and grainy, so hopefully if they release a version 2 maybe they will upgrade the cameras with a 12MP for the world facing camera and 5MP for the selfie camera. We already know that they can, smartphones have the same tiny cameras and some phone makers have released phones with up to 100MP. Just remember at $299, it’s not a cheap bit of kit, but in my humble opinion it is well worth the money who takes their tech and photography seriously.
Here is some of my content from my WristCam.
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