Think of how your brain makes memories. You can recall certain moments with crystal clarity: when your child was born, when you first sampled VR, that epic burrito you had at Chipotle. And other moments—like your commute—are so mundane that you forget them instantly. Graava, a new wearable camera, wants to change the way we record our memories by highlighting only the best ones.
While strapping on a GoPro assures you that every memorable moment of your surf trip is caught on film, it also assures that you’ll have to wade through hours of floating in the water waiting for that perfect wave to come. Graava uses artificial intelligence and sensors to infer what you yourself would remember, and crafts a highlight reel from the footage.
The San Francisco innovation firm Matter was tapped to design Graava. “In general, the whole goal of the product is to simplify life,” Max Burton, the founder and chief designer at Matter, says. “It’s how—through the industrial design and interaction—do we make something so simple and so easy to use that it will motivate you to use it, so it’s not a distraction?”
The HD camera is kitted out with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, a light sensor, accelerometer, gyro sensor, and audio recorder. It also syncs to Apple Watch to capture heart rate. Through collecting a number of metrics, the algorithm picks what it thinks the most memorable moments are—when something fast speeds in front of the camera, when your heart rate increases because of something that excites you, when a loud noise happens. Graava continually films, then, when you’re done, you can pick how long you want your highlight reel to be—30 seconds, five minutes, etc.—and you’ll always have the unedited file should you choose to relive everything. The interface is based on a clock, which Matter picked because it’s something most of us are familiar using. “The point of Graava is to maximize your memories, and we don’t want to burden that with the UI,” says Hoang Nguyen, principal designer at Matter.
From an industrial design angle, Graava is based on the form of something that feels good in your hands: a bar of soap. There is no seam slicing the body in half. Matter relegated the buttons and connectors to the top and bottom. It charges through induction and comes with three different mounts that change the character of the camera based on how you want to use it: Strap it to your handlebars, clip it to your pocket, or use the adhesive bracket to stick it to any hard surface.
While the physical attributes are more sophisticated than GoPro’s, it’s ultimately video quality and indestructibility that earned the incumbent camera its cred. While water-resistant, Graava is not waterproof, and it hasn’t undergone comprehensive stress tests. The next challenge is the hardcore engineering, which Graava hopes to bootstrap. It’s a bit more flexible in use than a GoPro, though, as Graava cameras can also be used for home security and baby monitoring thanks to all of those sensors.
Burton says that the relationship between the smart camera and a smartphone speaks to the future of computing. “Think of swarm intelligence of bees, fish, or birds,” he says. “When a shark attacks a school of fish, they work in unison to deflect the shark. Alone, they have low intelligence. When combined, they create superintelligence. These cameras are about the decentralization of computing into a network of things that work together.”
Graava is available for pre-order for $249 before September 1 and $399 after that.