There’s an old saying among photographers that the best camera is the one you have with you, and that’s what the Narrative Clip wants to be — a camera you always have with you. The little device is little more than a 5-megapixel basic camera that takes two pictures a minute, automatically. Clip it anywhere. And…create a detailed photographic record of your every waking moment.
When I was using it people in the street didn’t seem to notice it. It’s when you begin chatting to someone that they become aware of the device, which may prompt a conversation about what it is. People can naturally be a bit uncomfortable about being constantly photographed and it should go without saying that there are times to put the camera away in your pocket (which will put it into sleep mode). The quality of the photos is almost similar to that of a smart phone, however, the Clip isn’t about high-level photography, it’s about capturing a flavor of your day.
The Narrative Clip is a clever means of capturing photos that users otherwise may have missed and capturing candid moments in their lives without the conspicuous intrusion of a manual camera. It has a small (in fact, so small you usually don’t remember it’s there), simple design and works automatically (very easy to use); the accompanying app works with iOS and Android. It’s also weather-resistant.
I could identify a few areas of improvement for the Narrative Clip. First, it’s the lack of video recording or more advanced controls. The only thing you can do manually is to double-tap to take an photo instantly (which is a great feature), but more advanced controls are desirable for at least some users. Second, the lack of a desktop experience makes it feel too restrictive. The photos are stored in the cloud and not on your computer, but sometimes you want to use some of your photos and consequently need to download them. I had to do this from the iPhone app and send the photos to myself as email attachments. If bulk downloading could be done easily from the computer it would greatly increase the experience. Last, I would love to see the photos upload instantly to the cloud, maybe via Bluetooth through my smart phone. As of now, you won’t be able to frame or even see your shots until you get home and sync the Clip to your computer via Micro-USB (a port is hidden under a little rubber cover).
In conclusion, the Narrative attempts to be your always-on wearable way to record photographic memories — and it actually is a really good concept. The execution is excellent in many aspects, but feels lacking in a few others. However, it is one of the first devices in the world of lifelogging and mostly succeeds in its primary task of capturing random moments for you. I believe the potential of the Narrative Clip is great. I can only say I love it!