Smartphones have changed the way we handle many situations in our day-to-day lives. Soccer practice, an unfriendly run in with police, catching that moment when your best friend proposes to his future wife… all moments that can be quickly snapped and saved with the high quality smartphone-based cameras that are out nowadays. the problem, however, is usually getting there in time or, even worse, ruining the moment by pulling out a phone. so, what if you were already wearing the camera, and all you had to do was tap to start recording? the team behind the Looxcie personal recording device either had extremely altruistic or extremely devious plans in mind when they made the Looxcie 2.
What is it?
The Looxcie 2 is a Bluetooth headset. at least, it looks like a Bluetooth headset. It does actually allow you to make and receive calls over Bluetooth like any other headset, but that is far from its purpose. Tap the record button on your Looxcie 2 and you have a device that is capable of capturing the audio and video around you for at least 60 minutes. To complete the creepiness/secret camera motif, Looxcie has made an iPhone and Android app that allows you to use your phone as the viewfinder for the camera, as well as start and stop recording from the app. the headset offers a small red light under the lens that turns on when it is recording, but you are otherwise unaware that the device is recording.
The Looxcie actually has some really cool features, and you can purchase a number of additional accessories that will allow you to mount the recording device in a place that is not your ear. You can mount it in your car, snap it onto the bill of your hat, even attach it to your bike or helmet. in fact, we stuck a Looxcie inside the helmet of a motorcyclist at night to see just how well it would do..
As you can see, 480p is the best you will get out of this camera, but the Looxcie kept up with the ride with no problems at all. This is difficult to see from the viewfinder app, since the video is transferred to the phone via Bluetooth you only see about one in every three or four frames. If you are using the app, understand that the actual video will be much better.
More fun with Looxcie
Looxcie works great if you want to strap it to you and wander about, but it also does an even better good job as a camera you can mount somewhere close by and remotely activate with the app. We recorded a video of a local folk group, Gael in the Harbor, with the Looxcie 2 and a fisheye lens that you can magnetically attach to the Looxcie 2. This lens is one of two that you can buy from the company, but I will note that the magnetic ring that you fasten to the camera covers the red recording light.
The mic on the Looxcie is OK for conversations up close, but as you can see from the video doesn’t do such a great job further than 10 feet away. that distance is, coincidentally, the range of the Bluetooth before it starts to disconnect. If you are connected to a Looxcie with your phone and give the command to record, when you disconnect from the device it will continue recording.
When your Looxcie is full, it’s very easy to connect to your computer via MicroUSB and transfer the files off of the device. the files are perfect to upload straight to Youtube or keep for yourself, easy to view on all video players. the on board storage will get you a little over an hour of record time combined, and you cane have as many individual files as you want, Looxcie will name them numerically for organization.
The Looxcie 2 is extremely cool, in my opinion. It could benefit from having a better mic, more storage, and maybe the ability to record in HD, but there is no denying that the Looxcie is fun to use if you can remember to bring yet another gadget along with you. the Looxcie 2 does a great job recording video, but there’s no function to take pictures, which I think is a serious oversight. that said, this is without a doubt a device that could get you into trouble if you decide to use your powers for evil.
For $150 for the base kit, you’d have to have a pretty specific need in mind to pick one up, but I have a had trouble imagining anyone not having fun with this camera.