The Roader Time Machine Camera wants to revive life logging

Life-logging cameras have come and gone -- and gone and gone -- but the folks at Roader think theirs is different.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin

Another video camera you wear on your chest. The lanyard is actually a USB charging cable, a nice touch.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Google did us no favors when it announced Google Clips last year, reviving a not-much-loved product category that had pretty much died with the Narrative Clip. Following in Google's footsteps comes the $199 Roader Time Machine Camera which made its debut at CES 2018.

The Time Machine Camera is less creepy, for sure. It constantly buffers video, and when you press a button it saves the previous 10 seconds and the following 10 seconds, in a square format like Google's. It can also automatically trigger if you're in a car crash, using a motion sensor.

But the Time Machine automatically connects to your phone and transfers the video without storing it on the device (at 640x640 and 1,088x1,088 resolutions), and it doesn't upload to or process it in the cloud for AI analysis. So, less creepy.

But as far as I can tell, no one really wants to wear a camera prominently on their chest, no matter how inoffensive looking it may be, or to have it constantly monitoring their life. Who knows? Maybe the Roader Time Machine will succeed where others have failed. Maybe its time has come. Maybe.

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