Unlike other smartwatches, such as Samsung's original Galaxy Gear from 2013, the Apple Watch never had a camera on its band. While most companies have since abandoned the idea of cameras for their smartwatches, a new accessory looks to fill the void for those with an Apple wearable who have been craving more cameras in their lives.
Called the Wristcam, from a California-based company of the same name, the new $299 accessory is a band for the Apple Watch that adds two cameras via an included modular accessory. The first lens is an 8-megapixel "world-facing" shooter while above the watch face is a 2-megapixel self-facing camera. Both can capture photos and videos.
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Videos can be captured at up to 1080p HD resolution, with the device packing 8GB of local storage for either 2,000 photos or an hour of video. What you shoot can then be transferred to your iPhone's Photos app over Wi-Fi (the device uses Bluetooth to connect to the Apple Watch). Livestreaming is touted as an option on the Wristcam website, but as Apple doesn't allow for video FaceTime calls from the Apple Watch, it's unclear which apps or services will work with that feature.
The cameras are water-resistant for up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, and are charged by a "magnetic" USB cable. Wristcam says that it will "take three hours to fully charge the device, which will allow you to capture hundreds of photos or approximately 30 minutes of video per charge."
To protect privacy, the company has placed LED lights alongside each lens, which light up when the cameras are in use. There is also a dedicated microphone for recording sound as well as a button below the outward-facing camera for pairing the device and capturing photos and videos.
Apple Watches Series 1 through 6 are supported, as are all four variations of Watch sizes (38/40mm and 42/44mm). While far from the svelte design of the Apple Watch, the company lists a variety of different color options for bands, including the option to buy additional colors for $49 per band.
Wristcam says it has sold out of its December inventory, but will ship new orders in January.