The wristcam for the Apple Watch films forwards and upwards and can also be used for communication – albeit in a roundabout way.
The Apple Watch is easy to communicate with: SMS, MMS, iMessage messages and phone, FaceTime and app calls are possible. What is still missing are video chats, because the computer clock simply has no camera. A US company wants to change this: They have integrated two image sensors into a bracelet that fits the Apple Watch.
Own software instead of Apple
The device bears the name Wristcam and comes from the company of the same name, Wristcam Inc. It has been on the market in its home country for some time, but has only recently started supporting video chat. Since Apple does not have a corresponding API for video FaceTime on the computer clock, Wristcam has to use its own software: The company has developed a watchOS app for this purpose, of which there is also an iPhone version.
In In practice, this means that you can only communicate from wristcam user to wristcam user – i.e. from watch to watch or from watch to iPhone and vice versa, if the communication partner has downloaded the (free) wristcam app for iOS. After all, there is a separate SDK for the camera wristband, so that other developers can integrate the hardware; so far, however, interest has apparently been limited. The software is still pretty new anyway, if it doesn’t work for video right away, users will need to request access.
Features of the wristcam
Other than that, the wristcam’s hardware is quite interesting, even if it – in view of the components – is abundant. The device has an 8-megapixel main camera that faces the front and is intended for taking photos (maximum 4K, formats 1:1, 4:3 or 16:9) and videos directly from the watch. There is also a two-megapixel selfie camera directly above the watch screen. The device has an integrated memory that can contain one hour of video or 2000 photos.
The connection to the watchOS app (or the watch itself) is wireless due to the lack of directly accessible connections – either via Bluetooth short-range radio or via WiFi. The wristcam was designed in California and comes in three more understated colors. The price is just under 300 US dollars.