When the Narrative Clip arrived I was excited. Sure, having a small 5MP wearable camera that takes a new picture every 30 seconds would have been great during my recent trip to Israel but it sadly arrived the day after I left. Still, I could see many ways this unobtrusive gadget might make a great photographic diary going forward.The unit I was sent is just a 30 day loaner, but my initial thought was that after sending it back day 29 of the loan I would order my own and keep using the service. After just a few days with the unit I’m honestly not unhappy to be sending the loaner back and I have no interest in buying my own. Many seem to LOVE this small gadget. I, however, am not one of them. Let’s take a look at the Narrative Clip, how one sets it up, how it works and why I’m not in love.
The company describes the product this way:
The device is a tiny, automatic camera and app that gives you a searchable and sharable photographic memory. Your new photographic memory: Capture the moment as it happens, without interference. Complement your staged photos of majestic scenery with the intensity of the small moments that matter the most. Relive your favorite moments: The Narrative App gives you an overview of the moments that matter to you. The people you meet, the restaurants you visit or that special moment when everything feels just perfect.
Sounds great right?
The company also states “You won’t even notice it’s there.” Considering the device weighs just 0.7 oz and measures a mere 1.42×1.42×0.35 inches this claim sounds appropriate. Why then did EVERY SINGLE person I saw when I had the device clipped to me ask what it was? Yes, it is small and light but the bright white of the case stands out… Unless you are wearing white. (Gray and orange are also options. I certainly can see the orange ones being unobtrusive.) 🙂
Narrative Clip Features:
5 Megapixel: The device has a 5 megapixel camera that takes 2 pictures every minute
Just Clip It On: Double tap to capture a special moment or put it face down to make it sleep
Apps for Android and iPhone: The Clip has a companion smartphone app to revisit, organize and share your moments
Let Us Organize Everything for You: Unique “momentification” to automatically organize thousands of photos.
Get the Big Picture: Your best photos from each day are presented on your timeline.
Easy Browsing: Browse through your moments picture by picture or play them as a timelapse.
Share the Moments that Matter: Select your favorite pictures and share them with friends and family. Capture the intensity of the moment, and easily bring it back to life.
So you charge the clip, put it on and forget about it. For the next two days- or until the battery runs out- you’ll get a photograph every thirty seconds. And if you are doing something you want to make sure gets captured all you have to do is tap the device twice. That will trigger an extra image capture.
Yes, the IDEA behind this device sounds pretty great. Having spent a week taking a series of group-selfies with colleagues during our recent travels I approached this somewhat narcissistic device more open than I might otherwise have been. I REALLY wanted to like it and I am disappointed the actual experience of using it fell short. Way, way short.
The Narrative Clip is able to store up to 6000 pictures. The two-day battery life sounds okay on paper but personally the last thing I need is yet another device to charge every 48 hours. Were it able to charge inductively I would not see the 2 day battery life as an issue since it would mean you could simply pull the camera off your clothing and lay it on a charging pad each night. Having to remember to plug-in the included USB to microUSB cable however… A total pain.
Then there is this… “Just plug it in to your computer to transfer all your images and recharge the batteries.” Basically the process is pretty straightforward. You plug the device into your computer and launch the OS X or Windows software. It downloads the images and then uploads it to the secure servers. Once that is done you can use the iOS or Android App to video your images, recall your day or select specific photos as “favorites.”
The lack of WiFi or Bluetooth for on-the-go uploading means until you get to your computer you can’t see what you have photographed. That became a problem for me last night when I thought Elana’s and my dinner out with our friends Meni and Hadas was being captured. When I went to download the pictures I discovered that our drive to the restaurant was the only thing that was recorded. Once we arrived there it, for some reason, stopped taking pictures. I only learned of the issue when I plugged the device into my computer this morning.
There’s one other issue with the Narrative Clip- the price. At $229 for the device plus a three-month subscription to their service, or $279 for the device and a full year of access, this is one pricey option. To be honest I might be able to overlook some of my many complaints about this device were it a $49 accessory but for $229 and $279 respectively this is outrageously expensive. Sure, it has a 5MP camera and stores thousands of photographs but it is a serious purchase that comes with serious limitations. In addition, since there is no word about it being waterproof I would have concerns about using the device in rough weather and seeing my investment become little more than a square of useless plastic.
In short, I LOVE the idea behind this. I just think the execution falls short… And then some. And that bums me out. You can learn more here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Narrative Clip
What I Like: Great, fun concept and a cute little capture device; Captures images every thirty seconds or on command
What Needs Improvement: Short battery life; Pricey; Turns off without my knowing it; Clunky interface requires a computer and a smartphone app