Cameras

Using AI, this wearable camera picks out the best videos of childhood

Kids have a tendency to stop whatever cute moment they were in the middle of when the camera comes out, a pattern that has companies developing options like blink-to-shoot camera glasses to capture candid shots of childhood. But another startup is taking a different approach with a subtle clip-on camera -- and artificial intelligence that even picks the best shots.

Benjamin Button is a hands-free wearable camcorder designed for kids and parents. The clip-on button camera is designed to be unobtrusive, while software that automatically picks the best shots is designed to streamline the process of sifting through hours of wearable footage. The camera comes from a company of the same name, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and it launched Tuesday, May 23, on Kickstarter.

The camera utilizes a program that's similar to the smile-detection modes in some cameras. Itssoftware is designed to automatically pick out the best shoots from the footage. The algorithm uses sound and motion recognition to identify the most active moments, while facial recognition technology allows users to tell the camera who is family and who is a friend or stranger. Future software updates are expected to also give the program the ability to recognize emotions.

That software is paired with a clip-on camera that can be worn by either the child, for POV-style shots, or the parent. The small camera weights 2.3 ounces but is capable of recording up to three hours of stabilized footage in 1080p resolution at 25 fps. The deviceintentionally leaves out Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to avoid radiation ( though studies conflict on the effects) and its also housed in a waterproof BPA-free plastic housing.

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The footage is later retrieved from the camera from the 16GB internal storage using a USB type C connection, and processed while the camera charges. Along with letting the AI do the work, parents can also choose to sort through the footage themselves using the mobile app.

Paired together, the camera and software are designed to capture childhood memories in a way thats designed to avoid the need to sift through hours of POV footage. Through the memories of the youngest family members, we are creating aworld where we are bringing families together in this fast and demanding era, said founder Dominik Orfanus, a former journalist and a father of two.

The Benjamin Button Company started working on the idea in 2014 and several prototypes later, the firm is preparing for the camera systems launch. The company launched a Kickstarter on May 23 to cover production costs. The earliest backers can pick up the camera for $179 if the campaign and development are successful, an expected $70 discount over retail.