Wristcam is a camera for your Apple Watch, integrated into the bracelet

The very first camera for Apple Watch debuted today. It’s called wrist camerait was created by a former Apple program manager and a former GoPro engineer, and it offers both an 8 megapixel “facing the world” camera and a separate 2 megapixel facing you camera, allowing you to take photos along the way, or having a video chat with a face on your wrist.

(Insert required Dick Tracy citation here.)

“Living with Wristcam is a bit like having superpowers…the phone isn’t always at hand, and it’s nice to have a camera handy when you go out with friends, or go for a run, bike ride or hike with just an Apple Watch,” Ari Roisman, CEO and co-founder of Wristcam, said in a statement. “But it’s the live video capabilities of Wristcam which are truly next-level and sci-fi-worthy.”

The watch is brand new, just announced, and I’m more than a little conflicted with it.

On the one hand, I’ve been there: do I really need to take my iPhone on this hike? I bought the Apple Watch with cellular capability precisely so I could not need to take my phone everywhere. But, the question always comes up, what if I want to take a quick photo to capture something amazing, beautiful or cool?

So I usually end up bringing my phone with me.

On the other hand, it’s not exactly small and or discreet. Wristcam adds a lot of bulk to your wrist, even though it weighs only 23 grams. If your the wrist becomes painful when you’re wearing a smartwatch, this is the perfect 2020 accessory for you (as in: not good at all).

And a smartwatch is already a retrograde, style-wise, from a sleek, chunky analog watch you wear on your wrist. Extra volume is not, shall we say, sexy.

But the concept is cool.

The Wristcam captures HD video and 4K still photos, and can be ordered in black (Black) or white (White) as well as gray, pink (you guessed it: pink) or Sage (Neanderthals like me might call it light green). A button on the Wristcam controls it and an app for Apple Watch connects to it for your viewfinder, gallery and (of course) sharing tools. There’s an internal battery which Wristcam characterizes as “all day”, internal storage for your photos, and the device is water resistant: tested to one meter or three feet for 30 minutes.

I don’t know if you’ll win any photography contests, but it’s capable of some decent shots:

Here’s another example provided by the company:

I haven’t personally tested it, but imagine cell phone photos from about five years ago: it could be good enough if you have the right lighting, but don’t plan to zoom in very far or print a poster. Video taken with the Wristcam is actually good enough as well.

This video, produced by Wristcam, illustrates how you might use a wristwatch:

The different colored bands are interchangeable, so you can switch up your fashion statements without buying a whole new Wristcam, which will cost $300, just in time for Christmas shopping.

According to the company, Wristcam has been in development for five years. And, now that it’s here, it lets you “break off the screen and live in the moment while capturing it.”

It is a commendable effort. Whether the product keeps its promises remains to be seen.

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