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Sony’s wearable Lifelog camera moves one step closer to watching your every step

Sony is making a lot of noise about wearables at this year’s IFA tech show. Not only does it have the new SmartWatch 3 and SmartBand Talk on display, but behind closed doors, it has shown a new version of its Smart Lifelog Camera. We first saw this interesting little device back at MWC, when it was little more than a concept. It was so new, we weren’t even allowed to touch it at the time.

That’s all changed. The Smart Lifelog Camera has grown up, and Sony has confirmed it will become a real product we can buy in the near future. It’s still not ready, and we weren’t shown a working model, but the hardware appears to be set. Here’s a reminder of what it’s all about. The tiny camera clips to your clothes, or hangs around your neck, ready to record your day’s activities and add more color to Sony’s Lifelog Android app.

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The device is very simple. On the front is a brushed metal slider that when slid down reveals the camera lens, which automatically starts recording. Slide it back up to stop recording, so your more private moments remain just that. The slider has a very pleasing spring-loaded motion, popping into place with just a small flick of your thumb.

The tiny camera clips to your clothes, or hangs around your neck, ready to record your day’s activities.

On the back is a clip for attaching the camera to your clothes, or it has a lanyard for wearing round your neck. The small device — not much larger than the original Sony Core module — is wrapped in an interchangeable rubber bumper, keeping it safe. It’s lightweight, and you’ll instantly forget you’re wearing it, regardless of where it is on your body.

An unspecified amount of storage space will apparently see the Smart Lifelog Camera record a normal day’s activities. The exact time isn’t clear, but between six and eight hours wasn’t dismissed when we mentioned it. Whether this will be continuous video, or a series of timed stills, remains to be seen. At the heart of the Smart Lifelog Camera, just like all Sony’s wearables, is the Lifelog app. Described as the glue which holds them all together, we can see the Bookmark feature really come to the forefront when used with the camera.

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Contrary to what we were led to believe at CES, the Lifelog Camera won’t make use of Sony’s original Core module. Anyone who purchased the SmartBand thinking the Core would become the heart of various accessories should prepare themselves for disappointment. Sony seems to have changed tactics here, creating new Cores for each device, some being removable – such as the SmartWatch 3 – while others come fixed in place, like the SmartBand Talk.

The Smart Lifelog Camera is sure to be controversial when it does go on sale, in the same way that Google Glass’ ability to surreptitiously record or photograph the world around the wearer has already upset privacy advocates. We’ll wait for Sony to reveal exactly what it’ll record, when, and how before getting too worked up though. Sony’s keeping quiet about the final specs, price, and release date, but at least we do know the Smart Lifelog Camera is coming. Perhaps we’ll learn more at CES in 2015.