How many of you have sighed or muttered “Shoot!” for not being able to click the shutter of your camera right when you wanted to take the perfect shot of that great sight you just encountered? I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Actually, bumping into something spectacular, all of a sudden, while your hands are both occupied, happens a lot. Maybe it’s the moment when you are carrying something big with two hands, holding the handles of the bicycle you are riding, or stretching your arms to embrace your child.
A Japanese startup company has devised an unconventional solution that can prevent users from missing precious opportunities to capture those memorable eye-catching moments caused by the inevitable time lag.
The solution is an astonishingly small and light-weighted camera called Blincam designed to be mounted on the side of any eyeglass frame. It requires you to simply wink to click the shutter. In other words, this intelligent device no longer requires you to use your hands for photo shooting.
Blincam resembles a slightly big USB memory stick. What is so special about this device is that it is extremely light, weighing only 25 grams (the weight of about six American pennies).
As I was not able to obtain the actual prototype, I mounted a tiny item that weighed about 25 grams on one side of my eyeglass frame to get a sense of how it would feel to wear the mounted Blincam.
I felt the eyeglasses slant slightly to the side the 25-gram item was mounted, but not to the extent that it bothered me.
Spec-wise, Blincam enables you to take 640×480-pixel, high resolution image data that is automatically saved in the embedded storage. You send the data to your smartphone via Bluetooth, then you use a dedicated app to view the pics you took with Blincam.
There have been other eyeglass-type, wearable, visual devices developed in the past, but virtually none of them has succeeded in gaining wide popularity.
One of the main reasons for this is that many of these devices were developed to be multi-functional, often making them too complicated and difficult to operate effortlessly.
Some other devices failed to win broad support from consumers because the intended usage was so diverse that the developers could not pin down the core targets to market their products.
Blincam, on the other hand, has one purpose of use, plain and simple—to be a brand new way to enjoy the experience of taking snapshots without the need of using hands or the trouble of carrying around and holding a digital camera or smartphone.
Can distinguish a wink from a blink
The features equipped in Blincam are very easy to operate, as they only require you to consciously shut one eye. When you try winking, you’ll notice that you are making a conscious attempt to close your eye.
The sensor built in Blincam is programmed to detect your muscular movement around the temple without direct contact, and send a signal to activate the camera when it senses a slightly dynamic movement.
The sensing mechanism is developed to be so highly receptive that it can distinguish between the subtle muscular movement that is a little stronger when you consciously wink, compared to when you unconsciously blink.
The startup company is expecting the hands-free camera, Blincam, to be well-received by a wide range of users. You will be excited when you learn how convenient and stress-free it is to take photos of everything you are seeing without having your eyes blocked behind a camera lens.
In addition, Blincam allows you to take sequential shots of subjects that move or change shape. This feature is very useful for people who want to visually record the step-by-step procedure on how to do something, for example, run a machine or bake a cake, while they are using both of their hands during the process.
Other potential users could be workers on a construction site who have to report the progress of their projects periodically to clients, and researchers at excavation sites who need to record evidence of whatever they find in the course of their digging process.
If you are interested in using the innovative Blincam camera, you can help the startup company expedite its commercialization plan by contributing to its cause financially at Makuake, the crowdfunding site where this futuristic device is showcased.