Remember the original Galaxy Gear? Hard not to — gadgets don’t get much gadgetier and clunkier than Samsung’s first big attempt to figure out why folk might want computers on their wrist. One of its key features was the camera embedded in the watch strap, letting you quickly snap photos without the need to get your phone out, and now a company is aiming to bring similar functionality to the Apple Watch.
The CMRA band comes from Israeli startup Glide, who already makes an Apple Watch-compatible video chat app. It looks like one of Apple’s rubber Sport Bands but incorporates an 8-megapixel primary camera as well as a 2-megapixel module angled toward the face. While it’s not quite clear how CMRA integrates with the Watch, it does require its own battery — Glide includes a stand that charges both the Watch and the CMRA and can also be used on the go.
"The camera is only valuable when it is out and ready to take a photo or video," Glide CEO Ari Roisman tells Recode. "Our phones live in our pockets." If CMRA is able to be used without too much reliance on the phone, that’ll certainly be the selling point. But that’s probably a big "if."
CMRA won’t ship til spring next year, however — preorders open today for $199, or $149 if you’re quick. The regular selling price will be $249.