Put away your smart phone. Put away your camera. It's time to actually experience the moment. Thanks to Miami native Drew Martin, you can now wear a MeCam, instead.
The 20-something grew up in Miami and left for college. After seven years away, the prodigal native returned with an idea to hopefully put the sea of cell phones phenomenon into extinction. It's easy: Pin a button-shaped MeCam camera to your shirt. Let it do all the work for you.
The MeCam takes still photos with a 5.0 megapixel camera. It records in 720p HD video at 30 frames per second. It even shoots infrared video (IR). Just shoot away then plug the small MeCam into your computer via USB.
"People have come up with so many crazy ways to utilize MeCams," says Martin. "From using it for their business, to wearing it while they play with their grandchildren, to even strapping it to their pets and even [to] a kite."
We caught up with Martin to discuss the inspiration behind the MeCam (spywear), why Miami, and what's next for the blooming company.
Cultist: What inspired you to launch the MeCam?
Drew Martin: I bought into a spywear company and learned about the amazing camera technology out there, but it wasn't being utilized because of the "creepy" connotation that comes with the term spywear. So I wanted to bring this technology to the mainstream public in a device that is fun and meant to be seen, so people can capture their life without the negative connotation. I also wanted to make a camera that was affordable for the average person, which is why the MeCam price point is $50-70. Sure, everyone would love a goPro but not everyone has $300-400 to shell out on such a device. I tried to offer a quality product with as many features as possible at a great price point, and the result is MeCam.
Why in Miami?
Why not? [Laughs]. All kidding aside, I grew up in South Miami but after college (at Emory in Atlanta) made the move to the Big Apple (to pursue a career in finance). I spent seven amazing years there, but when launching MeCam, I thought that moving back to Miami would give me the best chance to succeed. Miami has grown so much as a city since I left. We have a lot of the same restaurants as New York City, and literally people are in town every weekend for an event here. It has morphed from just being a tourist destination, to a business and cultural destination. This is where I want to raise my family and I thought it was the right time to make the move back and haven't regretted it since.
What exactly can someone do with a MeCam?
You can use it as a still digital camera as it takes 5-megapixel pictures. But mainly it is a fun video camera to capture your life on the go. I am trying to make the MeCam culture be about living a fun and active lifestyle, and letting MeCam capture it for you. So many of us are just on our couches watching TV while simultaneously on our smart phones. We need to get up and go do things.
Ideally people will shoot their lives, events they attend, etc., and then edit their footage into a fun 1-minute video to share with their friends. We are working on including a video editing software that is fun and easy to use to get people used to editing their own videos.
What's next for MeCam?
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Since we launched three months ago, we have grown by leaps and bounds. People have really had a great response to MeCam. However, I am a perfectionist and I am always tinkering with it. All the feedback from the MeCam community is used to continue to make the product better and better. I really try and focus on my users and customer service. I am planning to come out with a next generation MeCam that will have more features according to what users have recommended to me. This is about 6-8 months out.
MeCam is one of the sponsors/giftees at the Michael Jordan Charity Invitational Celebrity Golf Tournament in Las Vegas next week. We will be in 350 gift bags to attendees and on-site to promote it. We have also committed to being one of the on-site giftees at The Black's Annual Gala benefiting the Consequences Foundation and Charity on April 13 at the Fontainebleau.
The MeCam starts at $49.99 for 4GB, and is available at mecam.me.