In recent years, those engaged in extreme sports such as wingsuit flying or cliff diving have taken to strapping a small, rugged camera to their head to capture the death-defying feat on video before relaying it to friends later, or posting it on YouTube.

In years gone by, extreme sports enthusiasts didn’t have the means to record their breathtaking endeavors, with most considering the prospect of taping the unwieldy and enormous Canon VC-30 video camera (with separate VCR) to their body as a risk not worth taking – although jumping off a high place with that thing taped to your body could have been a whole new kind of extreme sport in itself.

As technology improved, cameras got smaller, though the picture quality they offered was below par. Then last year, a company known for its versatile and lightweight cameras, GoPro, came out with the 11-megapixel HD Hero2 device. Offering a high quality picture in a compact device, it quickly became the camera of choice for the extreme sports community.

So it might not come as too much of a surprise to learn that electronics giant Sony has taken an interest in the market and come up with a competing camera. In an entry on the company’s blog posted Tuesday, Sony offered an early look at its upcoming “action camera.” No, it doesn’t appear to have a proper name just yet.

“Sony’s developing a new type of hi-def wearable video camera for POV and action sports,” the post begins, “and we’re giving you – our stellar fans – the first look at the device!”

And the first look comes by way of a series of close-up photos of a rather nifty looking camera with a simple, straightforward design – just what you’d expect with a camera of this nature.

Specs are scant at this point, though the company offers a few bits of information – vital for such a device, Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilization technology is included. It also incorporate an Exmor R CMOS image sensor and an ultra-wide angle Carl Zeiss Tessar lens.

“Whether you’re shredding major powder, jumping out of a plane, or kayaking through an epic waterfall, you [can capture] super high-quality video of it to show off to your family and friends. And there’ll be ruggedized and waterproof housings available so the camera can do its job in even the most extreme environments,” the post says.

No price or launch date is mentioned, but updates and details will be released as soon as they become available. Bodyboarders, base jumpers and waterfall kayakers stand by.

[via engadget]