[Updated January 11, 20011: added video interview and exmples.]
Attention Gordon Bell, have I got a product for you! Computer industry luminary Bell, as Spectrum readers may recall, several years ago set out to record his life as part of Microsofts MyLifeBits project. But the tools available for doing so at the time were primitive, and didn’t exactly make us all want to run out and do the same.
But wearable cameras have come a long way. The $200 Looxcie looks like a Bluetooth earpiece, and isn’t much more cumbersome to wear. It takes 480p videos and streams them to an iPhone or Android device, which is both the camera's viewfinder and gateway to the Internet. Had a particularly camera-worthy moment? Hit a button, and the past 30 seconds of the stream are saved on the camera, for up to four hours of stored video.
At CES, Looxcie also announced a LooxcieLive service [PDF], a lifecasting service that will stream video live over the Internet. It's set to launch the first half of 2011, but details are still scarce.
While you couldn't ask for a much smaller wearable cam, the 480p resolution is definitely a generation behind other sports cameras (and even many camera phones). The Looxcie could also use some improvement in its audio gathering- wind in particular can make Looxcie clips painful to hear. Still, those downsides might be outweighed by the fact that you won't miss the next important moment you see.
Here's an example of video shot with the Looxcie (there's more on their YouTube page). As first-person lifecasting becomes more popular, will a handheld mirror become an essential accessory?
For more gadget news, check out our complete coverage of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.