A couple of weeks ago I received an EDUPOV sample kit. It was easy to record a couple of videos with, so I have passed the 2 kits to some of the teachers I work with who load instructional videos to the net. The chefs had a go, HortyKim is trying it out next week, and one of the art teachers promises something interesting.
I’m a big fan of the concept of Point of View (PoV). Its what Web2 has been all about. All those quality freaks have had to bow down and accept the miracle of Youtube, and see how it has influenced TV and cinema. We have come to love the authenticity of the PoV.
But since trying the EDUPOV kit I have thought the set up needs refining. It need sto be simple, out of the way, versatile, strong and not precious. It needs to be usable and something you can whip out, use and put away. No fuss.
EDUPOV have centred their development thinking around eye glasses. I think that is a mistake. Apart from it looking pretty daggy, we all seem to be having a small problem getting the right angle in the recordings. The glasses would come off too easy in those running for cover action times, they’d fog up, they’d get to be clumsy and uncomfortable, they reflect light like all glasses do, they don’t give you the right angle, break too easily, can’t be comfortably worn over existing glasses, and in the case of the EDUPOV, still require somewhere to tuck the cable and the hard drive. Oh, and when it comes to people recording, the glasses are too conspicuous for both the recorder and the recordee.
Enter the head torch. I have used head torches for about 15 years now. Ask any adventure sports person to show you their torch, and I guarantee you they will show you a head torch. Like the POV cameras, head torches allow the user hands free operation. Wearing a head torch you can set up a tent, cook a meal, read a book in bed, fix gear in low light, walk out at night, abseil off a cliff in the dark, go caving, etc etc. All these things are impossibly difficult with a hand held torch and like wise for a hand held camera. But its moments like those when I want a camera the most!
So I think the POV lens should be mounted in the head torch for use both day and night. Right in there with the LEDs. Not only does the camera now work in the dark, but you could use the LEDs to approximate the field of view that is being captured to video. The head torch design is already standardised to fit to safety helmets, and some even come with detachable options so you can take the torch off and mount it somewhere fixed for those moments when we all want to get in the shot.
If the POV lens was mounted in a smick head torch like a PETZL, then the market for these things is significantly larger than edumacationalists who struggle to get creative ideas at the best of times. I’d say 1 in every 20 adventure sports people will want one, all military training personnel, industry, police, ambos.. pretty much anyone that already uses head torches and has a need to record video too. If you are used to using a head torch, then you are automatically used to using a POV. If you have experienced camping with geeks and head torches, you’d know that it doesn’t take long to stop noticing them and start just doing what ever it is you’re doing.
So EDUPOV.. how about a head torch camera?