One of the top questions we get from our website visitors and customers is - “Does the camera have a LCD screen (viewfinder)?, Unfortunately up until now, many of the wearable cameras lacked an LCD screen making it difficult to line up the perfect shot and having to wait until you are in front of a computer to view your masterpiece.
Contour, which happens to be one of our top selling and favorite brands - in a stellar display of market leadership just announced the release of a mobile phone app which when combined with a Bluetooth module will stream live video (what you are shooting) straight to your mobile phone, turning your phone into a live viewfinder. Sweet!
Just in case the so-sweet-live-video was not enough, you will now be able to control the cameras settings via your phone, too. This enables you to set video and photo modes, quality, frame rate, exposure, metering, mic sensitivity, gps, and more straight from your phone letting you adapt to changing light conditions and other factors. Say you are a skier. Imagine you start your day nice and early setting you camera for low light conditions and as you climb up to the top of the mountain to shred that perfect line, the sun comes out in its full force and you now adjust your exposure setting way down ensuring a perfectly exposed video. Nice!
In addition to viewing live video and being able to adjust camera setting you will be able to monitor GPS signal strength, battery life and available memory right on your phone display.
The new feature is backwards compatible through a firmware update, so for those of you who have purchased a Contour GPS camera already you are good to go with a simple firmware update, mobile app download and the bluetooth module.
The Bluetooth function will work with Apple iPhones and iPod Touches and with Android phones. The mobile apps are in development as I write this for both platforms; the Apple version is expected to be released March 1st.
For this wireless viewfinder masterpiece, Contour is taking home the Innovation Award tomorrow at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Contour’s official press release on these new features:
Contour Turns Your Mobile Phone into a Live Viewfinder for its ContourGPS Camera
01.05.2011– (Seattle, Wash.) – Contour, a market leader in hands-free video cameras, is announcing a new feature for its award winning ContourGPS model: Bluetooth. Already the first hands-free video camera to capture speed and location in real-time, Contour is unveiling a built-in Bluetooth chip in the ContourGPS along with a mobile app that together enable your phone to become a live viewfinder. Now you can see what your camera sees while configuring your settings, all from the most remote locations. Applications are currently being developed for the Android and iOS platforms. Contour will be demonstrating this new functionality at the Consumer Electronics Show.
“We’re excited about turning a phone into a live screen for the ContourGPS and delivering the single feature nearly all of our customers have been asking for,” says Marc Barros, Contour’s CEO. “ContourGPS was already the first hands-free camera to introduce real-time GPS, bringing a whole new level of video storytelling to our customers around the world. But with the enabling of Bluetooth, ContourGPS becomes the only hands-free video camera with a wireless viewfinder.”
Hands-free is one of the fastest growing video camera categories, but it’s often limited in its application by the lack of a screen. By unlocking Bluetooth, ContourGPS opens itself to connectivity with audio, remote control, and mobile accessories. Most importantly, it enables a mobile app to turn your phone into a live viewfinder.
The ContourGPS camera brings together three of the hottest trends: location, mobile, and video. It goes beyond being just a camera – it’s an all-in-one platform that offers innovative software in conjunction with a vibrant online community. Customers can record, post, and share their video adventures while tracking their path, speed, and elevation on a map – all at the same time. A rugged video camera made specifically for the estimated 100 million outdoor enthusiasts around the world; ContourGPS makes it easy to capture video from within the action and share it online in seconds.
A 2011 CES Innovations Award Winner, ContourGPS ($349.99 MSRP) is being displayed at the Digital Experience Event on January 5th and at the company’s CES Booth #35155.
Contour is the market leader in hands-free, location-aware video cameras. Producing adventure storytelling tools based on a simple intuitive design, Contour enables modern-day explorers to use location-based video to replay their personal tales of action, adventure and travel, sharing them with world at the touch of a button. For more information about Contour please visit www.contour.com.
What does every one think? Will this change how we shoot and view hands free videos? Would be nice to see this for the iPad.
Please leave your comments and / or questions below.