※Japanese version is here.
Hey guys, I’m Doga (@Doga_EN), a tech writer for Gizmodo Japan and Techable.
Do you know the “FOMO camera” which has already achieved its funding goal on Kickstarter? It’s a wearable camera that you can put on your clothes, caps, and bags just like a badge.
I introduced the product in an article for Japanese tech media “Techable” and recently I got contacted by someone who works for the FOMO product team to ask me to review the FOMO camera. The FOMO camera hasn’t been completely developed for normal customers yet and it’s still kind of a prototype. Therefore, the specifications or what it looks like could change in the future but, I believe that this hands-on article can give you some basic idea of what the FOMO camera is.
- 1 Story behind the FOMO camera
- 2 Appealing points of the FOMO camera
- 3 Let’s unpack!
- 4 So how good was the footage?
- 5 Lastly
Story behind the FOMO camera
Firstly, the FOMO camera was founded by Jeremy Shaw, who graduated from Washington University, working with design and engineering teams. There are teams in the U.S, Singapore, and China.
The product’s idea originally stems from the founder Jeremy’s own experience. He used to regret that he couldn’t capture special and precious moments because a camera wasn’t always around him. It sucks if you have nothing to film with particularly when you want.
So he started crystalizing the idea since February 2016 and created his team in November. And then, he opened a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in 2017. As of the time I’m writing this article, they have reached an impressive $107,822 rather than their original goal of $18,000.
So I’m sure that you can imagine how many people are expecting the FOMO camera and looking forward to receiving it.
Appealing points of the FOMO camera
As far as the company, the FOMO camera’s three selling points are “Customizable”, “Wearable”, and “Affordable”.
You can CUSTOMIZE the camera’s surface design as you want
Yes, the FOMO camera is a camera but it still has the aspect of a fashionable accessory just like a pin badge. Actually, you can change the design of the top of the camera as you want by detaching the transparent cover and switching the image anytime. Cool, huh? This is what customizability is!
Of course, you can order the company to print the paper that you designed, for a fee, or you can DIY it with a template from their website.
This time, the transparent cover didn’t come with the camera so the design I’ve got is the one I asked the company to print on the camera beforehand. I chose a camouflage pattern.
It’s a wearable camera so the easiness of wearing the device and taking videos is very essential. With using attachable mounts and parts, you can attach this device almost anywhere.
I guess that most people will wear it on their chests or bags but, unfortunately, I couldn’t fully test the wearability this time because the attachable mount couldn’t be delivered due to shipping regulations. It’s shame but I can still test the camera in other ways, right?
It seems that the market price would be $69 but you can get one camera for $49 on Kickstarter now. It’s very reasonable. For example, the wearable camera “FrontRow” that recently went viral costs $399 although the quality and functionality might be different between them. See?
Alright, talking is enough. Let’s open it. Oh, be sure that the packing is also a prototype version as well as the product. It might look a bit boring but never mind.
The Camera came with one charging cable (USB-USB-C), one small pouch and one description paper, very simple.
Here you go, this is the FOMO camera!!
Look at this small size. You can see how small it is on my palm. The surface is plastic and doesn’t look so fancy, although I understand this material decision considering how surprisingly lightweight it is. It weighs only 40g, man!
More detailed specifications are below.
- Sensor Resolution: 2 Mega Pixels
- Field of view: F2.4, 90º
- Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
- File Type: AVI
- Storage: 16/32GB micro TF
- Power consumption: 600mW
- Battery: 240mAh Li-Polymer Rechargeable Battery
- Recording Time: Up to 90 Mins
- Full Charging Time: About 60Mins
- Data & Charging Interface: Micro USB
- Operation temperature: 32ºF – 104ºF (0ºC – 40ºC)
- Operation humidity: ≤ 90% at 104ºF (40ºC)
- Net weight: 40g
- Dimensions: 50*15mm
So how good was the footage?
Ok, next, let’s try to film something with this camera! The FOMO camera was supposed to look like this on my T-shirt.
Instead of attaching it to my clothes, I held the camera with my two fingers to make it as steady as possible. In addition, I took off the lens cover in the middle of the camera because I heard that the glass was supposed to be replaced with better glass on the final version.
How to use the device is very simple. Basically what you need to do is click the black button behind the device.
- Click and hold the button = Power ON/OFF (While it’s on, the LED blue light below the button is on.)
- One click = Filming starts/ends (The LED blue light keeps flashing while recording.)
Some footage I took
So… how do you like? As you might realize, the shakiness stands out quite much. The FOMO camera doesn’t have a stabilizer in it so it is likely to be affected easily by fast movements.
However, I was told that the footage would be much much better with their official mount and parts to put on your clothes or bags, so the way I filmed might have been wrong somehow. I have no clue until I try them.
I assume that you also realized that the resolution is amazing. It’s 1080p HD. I’m sure that you can take nice videos if you use some gimbal or stop walking during filming as I did a bit in the video.
What I liked about the FOMO camera
- It’s very light.
- You can easily start recording with just a click.
- It can be a regular fashionable badge rather than a camera
- Good resolution
- Good microphone
As a wearable device, it’s disappointing if the camera is heavy but the FOMO camera is only 40g and it’s very easy to carry. You don’t feel the weight on your hand or on your clothes (actually I tried to attach it with tape and a money clip…).
Also, I found it very easy to film. This is an important factor. Being able to start recording with just a click makes it feel much easier to capture moments and keep memories. You may film more casually.
Lastly, the sound taken through the tiny microphone hole was more clear than I thought. I was impressed. I liked it too.
What I didn’t like about the FOMO camera
- The shakiness in the videos
- I can’t know how much battery is left
The biggest part is the shakiness in the videos. If it’s a camera, the quality of the footage is important. Although I tried my best to hold the camera stable while filming, I wasn’t happy with the shaky footage. Or it could be much better with the mount and parts which I couldn’t get at this time.
Normally speaking, a wearable camera is a device that is supposed to be worn on our bodies while walking or doing some activity, so the FOMO camera would be a great product if it can ease the shakiness for sure. The more stable the camera is during filming, the better the video quality will be. Of course.
Moreover, I thought that It would be better if I could know how much battery is left with at least a color indicator like blue to yellow to red.
Personally speaking, I loved the FOMO camera’s idea that you can fashionably wear it and film at the same time. If you expect such a high-quality video, I don’t recommend you to go with this. You had better buy actual video cameras. The FOMO camera is more like a cool badge that has a function of filming rather than a video camera. That sounds more decent, huh?
I think that the company also wants to highlight the customizable aspect to people more than the video quality and I think that is a wise tactic too.
Please remember that this product is still a prototype, therefore, the final version could look and work differently.