December 8, 2016
Choosing the right hands-free POV camera for your business use case: The opportunity for wearable cameras in the enterprise
There is tremendous opportunity for wearable cameras of all types in the enterprise. Many organizations today use smartphones and tablets to capture photos and video on the job—for documentation, to show a colleague, etc. But when you need to record or transmit video from the field a hand-held phone is not the best tool, not when workers need their hands free and both eyes on the task at hand. Surely many work processes that already incorporate cameras could greatly improve with the introduction of hands-free data capture. Not all wearable cameras, however, are created equal.So how do we begin to sort through all the different camera-equipped wearables on the market? The better-known enterprise smart glasses (Google Glass, Vuzix, etc.) boast many features, one of which is a camera. But what if your organization simply wants to get employees out to a job, recording and streaming video heads-up and hands-free, as quickly as possible? Which device do you choose?Today’s smart glasses are typically not out-of-the-box solutions—they have complex user interfaces, run full graphics, and are packed with sensors that use up power fast. While these fully standalone HUDs certainly have their killer use cases, many enterprises could benefit from something much more stripped down, affordable, and easy to use. They don’t need all the sensors, the powerful display; they just need a way to record video hands-free in the field and send it over the Internet in real time. Enter the Vyoocam.
The Vyoocam is a small yet robust point-of-view connected camera piece that can be attached to any pair of glasses and stored in a pocket when not in use. It’s quick and easy to set up and operate, enabling instant, live and hands-free streaming of everything the wearer sees and does with a press of a button. Let’s take a closer look:Technical. The Vyoocam has no complex UIX, no AR display—just a camera, microphone and open SDK. The device can stream for nearly two hours before needing to be recharged; is operated through a mobile app and controlled by two buttons; connects to any available Wi-Fi or mobile hotspot; and has on-board memory for storing photos and video locally in low-connectivity environments.Setup and Use. The Vyoocam comes with a mobile app for easy setup and media management: Simply connect the device to a smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and use the app to choose where to send your video. Vyoocam is software agnostic so it’s simple to set up the device to stream to a variety of services and apps. In addition to covering the likes of YouTube and Livestream, Vyoocam works with B2B SaaS providers like Cisco, Streye and Visual Mobility; and with its open SDK mobile app developers can easily integrate the device as a third camera option in any video streaming or conferencing application. This turns any mobile camera-supported process into a hands-free one.
Ergonomics. Lightweight and compact, the Vyoocam is highly portable and can be attached to any glasses, including tinted, prescription and safety. Comfortable and discreet to wear, the camera won’t interfere with one’s normal vision, and as a bonus the clip can be customized to match any given frames. When not needed, the Vyoocam can be folded away and concealed inside clothing.Price. Most enterprise-grade smart glasses start at around $1,000. The Vyoocam costs under $300, lowering the bar of entry for experimentation and adoption within smaller organizations and for companies that need or prefer out-of-the-box solutions.
The Vyoocam is a flexible piece of hardware, and with the right app pairings it can serve as the heads-up, hands-free POV camera for on-the-spot documentation and real-time, see-what-I-see communication in a number of B2B and B2C scenarios. Let’s consider a few cases in which the Vyoocam would be a better choice over a touchscreen device, pair of smart glasses or even a GoPro-like consumer device.
To begin, imagine ahigh-end department store: Foot traffic in physical retail stores has been on the decline for years now. Luxury department stores especially have been hurt by flash sale sites catering to their clientele with current-season goods at lower prices; and for these companies the brick-and-mortar store is a major aspect of the brand itself. One solution might lie in bringing the physical store experience to online shoppers, giving them a personalized yet still digital view into the store through a salesperson’s eyes.The Vyoocam can mimic what many still value about the classic shopping experience: That one-to-one interaction between shopper and physical item and between shopper and knowledgeable salesperson. Like a technological extension of a store’s personal shopping services and an enhancement over today’s online shopping tools (static images, text chat windows, etc.); the Vyoocam would enable live online shopping—the next best thing to visiting a store and physically examining a product for yourself. Moreover, the customer would be able to direct his online shopping experience by having the sales associate focus his or her Vyoocam on specific products and features around the store.The Vyoocam presents an opportunity for luxury retailers to interact with customers on a new level, driving sales both online and in stores; the hope is that enabling online shoppers to share a store employee’s view of an item will provide them with unique, in-depth information to make sound purchases, without detracting from the value of the physical store.
Wearable cameras could come into play in the automotive industry in a number of areas, including manufacturing and sales; but in most cases, next-generation AR is not necessary to get a leg up on current tools and methods used in the industry. Take inspections, for example: Many auto manufacturers still rely upon written or PC-completed forms in Quality Assurance. They may use tablets or smartphones to take photos but this information still needs to be recorded somewhere. The Vyoocam would be an easy, hands-free replacement for a phone or even the perfect companion tool to a checklist or notetaking application in the QA process. From hands-free documentation in inspection to remote car sales: You may have read about the concept of a “virtual showroom,” in which car buyers use AR and VR headsets to virtually test drive cars—pretty cool and a sign of the future, but not the easiest of applications to pull off at the moment.But what about a live visual remote showroom? Equipping dealership personnel with the Vyoocam would allow customers to view different vehicle models and features in detail without having to leave the home or office. Not only could car buyers shop in this way – from the salesperson’s point of view – but vehicle owners could also observe in real time as their car were being customized, serviced or repaired in a shop.Beyond inspection and live customer support, the Vyoocam can be used in any situation where conveying what the wearer sees in real time would enable more effective communication, reduce the need to travel, create new revenue streams, or serve as a superior means of documentation. Real estate agents could wear the Vyoocam to show properties to remote house hunters; surgeons could use it to share their first-person view of an operation with medical students; and insurance agents could quickly document damages in the field to share with specialists for on-the-spot quotes and estimates—the opportunities are diverse.The Vyoocam stands out especially for its simplicity, ease of use, and adaptability. Any organization, large or small, looking to “go wearable” but cost- and/or implementation-wary of emerging technologies like smart glasses, should consider the Vyoocam as an alternative to a smartphone and as a more affordable, niche and portable option over smart glasses for point-of-view video streaming.