Ideo ignites storytelling with iPhone video app Spark Camera

Developed to make video recordings more intuitive and fun, the app lets users edit together various scenes with music and filters.

Ideo's Spark Camera iPhone video app. Ideo

When design firm Ideo creates a gadget or comes up with a concept, it's usually pretty interesting -- remember Apple's first mouse? Rather than going for the million-dollar cash-in or making a banal consumer product, Ideo seems to be more of the creative type.

A new project the firm has been working on is an iPhone video app called Spark Camera. While there are already tons of video apps out there -- like Viddy, 8mm, and not to mention social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram that feature video -- Ideo's app is a bit different.

Yes, like those other apps, Spark Camera has filters, the ability to add music, and social media integration, but the concept behind shooting, editing, and sharing is distinct. Ideo's Toy Lab says that it's the "first app we've built purposely for adults."

Designed and developed in-house by Ideo's Toy Lab, which is a branch of Ideo, the app's software borrows from apps the Toy Lab has built for children, like Balloonimals and Elmo's Monster Maker. The idea with Spark Camera is to tell intriguing stories for adults but also make the app fun.

"Our goal with Spark Camera was to develop an iPhone app that would make it fun and easy to create high-quality, high-impact, sharable videos," Ideo's Toy Lab wrote in a statement. "Throughout the development process, we took our inspiration from iPhone users. Our observations of their habits and preferences led to several key insights, which we addressed in Spark Camera's final design."

These insights include letting users edit together numerous scenes (rather than creating one long sequential video), add music and filters, and handle a simple interface. Spark Camera was released in Apple's App Store on Thursday and costs $1.99.

Besides coming up with Apple's first computer mouse, Ideo is also famed for designing the Faraday electronic bike , the standup toothpaste tube , and a better Pringle for Procter & Gamble.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. PT to clarify that this is the first app for adults built by Ideo's Toy Lab.

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About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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