British newcomer OMG Life has created Autographer, an 'intelligent' wearable camera that uses an array of built-in sensors to take pictures automatically triggered by changes in its environment. It uses a semi-fisheye lens with a 136° angle of view in front of a 5MP backlit-CMOS sensor, and the shutter is triggered at key moments based on input from GPS, acceleration, direction, temperature, proximity and light sensors. The company thinks it should appeal to anyone interested in recording an event without having to operate a camera, or as an additional tool for documentary photographers. Images are stored in internal memory, and can be transferred to a smartphone using Bluetooth for viewing; alternatively they can be compiled into movies using the supplied software. It'll go on sale in November from the company's website for £399.
It would be easy, especially after the buzz of 'proper' photography announcements from Photokina, to dismiss Autographer purely as a gimmick - especially given the company name. But OMG Life is actually a consumer spin-off from the scientific imaging company Oxford Metrics Group, and the Autographer is a slimmed down, higher spec, consumer-friendly version of the Vicon Revue, an automatic camera that was originally designed to aid treatment of patients suffering from severe memory impairment such as Alzheimer's disease. So, in terms of the technology at least, there's a bit more substance behind it than you might at first think.
It's also, as far as we're aware, a unique concept; a camera that attempts to make informed decisions about the best time to take pictures. This marks it out from time-lapse devices which simply take pictures at pre-set intervals - the idea being that it's more likely to capture 'interesting' moments. Whether that's enough to persuade buyers to pay the asking price is a different question, but we're hoping to give one a try to see how well it works.