Smartphones have allowed us to easily capture intimate and memorable moments, such as a baby’s first steps or a graduation ceremony. But too often we’re looking through the smartphone, rather than simply being present. Ubiquiti Labs‘ FrontRow is a wearable camera that wants to help by capturing and sharing the moment, so you can stay in the moment hands-free.
The FrontRow looks like a pocket watch, except instead of a watch face there’s a 2-inch circular display. There are two cameras, one on the back with the display, and one on the front. On the side, you’ll find a power button, and a media button that lets you start and stop recording.
The premise is simple: When you are about to engage is an activity you want recorded, like a kayak ride, tap the media button and FrontRow will begin recording. You can take photographs, too. The primary camera, on the other side of the display, features a 140-degree lens, allowing you to capture more in a frame. The microphone array captures sound, and a speaker lets you play content back with audio.
Running Android, the touchscreen display lets you access a handful of supported live-streaming apps, such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitter. You can directly hop into these apps to start a live-stream without needing to pull out your phone.
But FrontRow’s highlight feature is Story Mode, which is somewhat like the time lapse feature on an iPhone, except a little smarter.
Story Mode “autonomously captures” a handful of images every few seconds when you’re on the move. The company said the mode is optimized for the first-person perspective, and the end-result is a collection of images that tell a story of the event or your day.
The wearable will stay on standby mode for 48 hours, but Ubiquiti Labs claims it can last for two hours in live-streaming mode, and 16 hours in Story Mode. There’s a USB Type-C port on the FrontRow, which is used to charge it. Thanks to fast-charging technology, the company said it will recharge in about 20 minutes.
The FrontRow hangs around your neck, but the company will be offering a car window mount and a flexible coil mount in the future. While the design is stylish, the FrontRow still looks very much like a tech gadget — the camera gives it away. The idea isn’t entirely new either; wearable cameras are a growing trend, though FrontRow’s implementation certainly is unique.