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Always-on meMini camera wants to prevent lost moments

Meant to be clipped onto your clothing, this Kickstarter project is a camera that's always recording so you can capture footage up to five minutes back in time.

Clipped to a shirt, the meMini will see what you see and is always recording. John Chan/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- The meMini wearable camera wants to help capture those spontaneous moments that tend to get lost unless you happen to have a CCTV pointed at you.

Meant to be clipped on to clothing and left on, the $249 meMini is always recording. When something interesting happens, you simply press the single button on the device, and it will permanently store up to five minutes of captured footage before that. This means that if your friend slips on a banana peel and falls into the pool, you not only get a good laugh, but also footage of the embarrassing moment. More importantly, families can use it to capture treasured moments like a baby's first steps.

The idea of a camera that records constantly so you get a buffer of events past isn't new and has been a feature available in some mainstream consumer cameras. But with a compact camera, you can't be sure your lens is always pointing where the action is. So even if it's always recording into a buffer, you will have to be holding it all the time.

A special version with a Maori design (the meMini makers are from New Zealand) will be made for those who back the project for $249. John Chan/CNET

That's where the meMini has a distinct advantage. Like a car's dash cam, the magnetic clip on the device lets the camera see what you are seeing all the time. The wide-angle lens helps to make sure your entire field of vision is captured. The captured video resolution is 1080p.

I tried out a prototype meMini, and it seems easy enough to use. After pressing the button, the meMini simply connected to an iPhone via Wi-Fi, and was able to wirelessly transfer a video of the scene to an app on the smartphone. And sure enough, I saw on the iPhone screen what happened just before the button was pressed. An Android app will also be available.

At this point, the meMini is still just a Kickstarter project, one that has a $50,000 goal to hit. Early birds will be able to get one with just a pledge of $149, though that's dependent on the project hitting the final figure. If it does get funded successfully, the meMini will ship in June this year.

An app and Wi-Fi connectivity make it easy to transfer images from the camera to a smartphone. John Chan/CNET

(Source: Crave Asia)