REVIEWED: OMG Autographer wearable camera
Clip-on camera with a 136° lens, GPS and spontaneous photos, but usability is poor
A travel essential or an awkward attempt at creating a new trend? It’s the opposite of a selfie – the clip-on camera that takes pictures of anything but you. It uses five motion sensors to calculate when a spontaneous photo might work well, though the results are very mixed, and wearing this bulky camera never stops feeling awkward.
Its 37x95x23mm dimensions and 58g plastic casing isn’t big, but it’s very noticeable to both the wearer and the rest of the world. A spy camera this is not – and the lanyard ring that makes it easy to hang around the neck doesn’t appeal either. Available in black yellow, blue and green, its 136° eye view lens has a cover that instantly deactivates the device.
Inside the OMG Autographer is a GPS module, five built-in movement sensors (accelerometer, magnetometer, temperature, colour and infrared motion detector) and a five megapixel camera that records to photos to an 8GB flash drive. It uses Bluetooth to send the results to the free Autographer app (available on all smartphones) while there’s also some desktop software to sync with that puts images in a chronological stream.
It runs for about 10 hours on a single charge (via microUSB), which is impressive stuff. However, toggling around the device and switching between various modes is needlessly tricky – and it’s not helped by a tiny screen that is anything but intuitive to understand.
We tested the OMG Autographer during a day out in London, which included a trip to a Japanese restaurant and onto a park, all with the device clipped to my shirt. It captured over 200 poor quality photos of my wife in various noodle-supping poses, sushi clumsily coming towards me in chopsticks, a urinal, and one of me blowing my nose. Not exactly the stuff memories are made of.
It might be amusing as a novelty addition to a fun day out in a city, but we’re not convinced the OMG Autographer has the staying power for a second trip.
Life-logging gadgets are all the rage, but the OMG Autographer and its spontaneous GPS-tagged photos are a step too far. Though it enables travellers to leave their smartphones in their pockets, even the subtlest movements release the shutter and this clip-on camera is nowhere near as easy to use as an Android or iOS device. Automatic photographs of our trips might well catch on, but the tricky to use OMG Autographer won’t. Over to you, Narrative Clip …