Hands-free video cameras, a.k.a helmet cams, are center-of-the-sun hot right now. That most of them lack a screen to see what you’re shooting or have shot? Not so hot.
But in another example of the digitally enhanced adventurey goodness coming out of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, Contour has just announced that its ContourGPS camera will stream what it’s shooting to your mobile phone via Bluetooth so you can use your phone as a live viewfinder. Sick!
Not only can you see the pixels being hoovered up as your radder-than-you goes huge in the park, you’ll be able to control the camera settings via your phone, too. And the real cool news? This feature is backwards compatible through a firmware update, so if you’ve bought a Contour since October 2010 you won’t lose out.
The Bluetooth function will work with Android and Apple iPhones and iPod Touches. Android firmware upgrade will be free, but the iPhone requires a $30 ConnectView card. The mobile apps are in development for both platforms; the Apple version is expected to take longer because Steve Jobs’s app-approval inbox is stacked sky-high.
Here’s Contour’s press release on the 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. Visit http://contour.com/camera/contour_gps to learn more or to find a complete list of retailers.
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.