A strap for an Apple Watch equipped with front- and rear-facing cameras is finally launching after nearly four years in development. The Wristcam has an 8-megapixel camera that can shoot 1080p video and take stills in 4K resolution and a 2-megapixel camera for selfies. The company says you’ll also be able to use it as a video walkie-talkie with real-time live-streaming.
Those might be serviceable cameras, but they’re not likely to replace your iPhone camera. The company sent over a sample of images shot by the Wristcam, which are pretty decent, if a bit underwhelming in the details.
Wristcam, originally called CMRA, shows images on the Watch screen but has a separate battery, which the company says can last an entire day. You can take images and video just by pressing a button on the band, and it will sync them to your iPhone automatically when you drop it on its magnetically attached charging cable at night.
The device has 8GB of memory for photo and video storage. The camera connects with the Watch via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and with the iPhone via Bluetooth 4.2, 5.0, and Wi-Fi.
The Wristcam band weighs 23 grams, about half the weight of the lightest Apple Watch, and comes in interchangeable colors, including noir, blanc, gray, rose, and sage. Both cameras have LEDs that light up when a photo or video is being shot, so it’s clear when the device is in photo-taking mode. It’s controlled by one multifunctional button.
According to CEO Ari Roisman, the Wristcam can take up to 20 seconds to share a photo directly from the Watch over Bluetooth but will sync directly with a connected iPhone. The ability to share photos directly from the Watch won’t be available at launch but in a future update, Roisman told The Verge.
Roisman told The Verge the company is focused on shipping units to customers who supported the original crowdfunding campaign, which pre-sold 10,000 units. The lengthy delay stemmed from design challenges, Roisman said, but customers who have stuck with the company should receive their Wristcams by the holidays. Since it’s been four years, the company said it offered refunds to any of the original crowdfunders who wanted their money back.
The Wristcam is taking direct reservations from customers on its website for $299. The first direct-to-customer units will ship in March 2021, the company says.