A bit of a sprawling Narrative

The Narrative Clip is a chest mounted camera that takes a photo every 30 seconds. A simple enough idea, but the concept, the reality and the story of it actually reaching the market alongside everything else that’s happening in the body-mounted-candid-image-capture industry, has been a bit intriguing.

I saw Narrative on Kickstarter when it was called Memoto and where it did pretty well for itself: Looking for $50,000 it ended up with $550,000 + 2,871 customers and a lot of positive buzz. That was November 2012 with estimated delivery of February 2013.

Come February ‘13 it didn’t ship. Google Glass did though: A face mounted camera that takes a photo when you ask it to.

Glass was instantly attacked and has become a sort of tech industry pariah. Slammed by almost everyone as daft and inappropriate. An insulting infringement of privacy to anyone in the vicinity of a wearer, or the glasshole as they’ve been dubbed.

Time passes. Restaurants, businesses, public places and government bodies ban Glassholes and Google continue to get panned*.

Memoto meanwhile still hasn’t launched, in fact it’s not until March ’13 that sample pictures from an actual Memoto are released. Meanwhile, another and more direct competitor has already launched (Autographer) and was actually on the market before the Memoto Kickstarter had even started. Come on Memoto, you can do it!

Or perhaps not, because by October ’13 there is still no release. There is news though: Lifelogging camera maker Memoto has a new name, $3M in capital and a ship date.

In consistent form the ship date slips but, in December ’13 Narrative is released and in the hands of real people by January ’14. Fifteen months or so after they funded the project.

A recap and extended order of events in the body mounted camera sector via some online archeology:


Rumours of Google Glass begin with the filing of a dead giveaway patent


Autographer is a new wearable camera that automatically documents your life

Memoto (Lifelogging Camera) funding opens on Kickstarter with a $50,000 goal

Memoto: A wearable camera that gives you a photographic memory

Surveillance camera man points camera at strangers without permission

The “most important ramification” of wearable lifelogging

Memoto Kickstarter funding closes at $550,189


First look at photos shot using a Memoto wearable lifelogging camera

Google Glass Explorer Edition (not a commercial product) made available for developers


Google Glass may have built-in “wink to shoot” camera functionality


UK set to ban Google Glass for drivers

Around this time?
’No Google Glass’ signs start to appear


Lifelogging camera maker Memoto has a new name, $3M in capital and a ship date


We. Are. Shipping.



First user impressions of Narrative Clip: Round-up plus our responses!

Interesting. On listing it all like that I realise that there’s more to unpack here than I thought. Narrative, Kickstarter, photography, rights, content creation and Google. And I thought it was just a quick bitchy post about Narrative taking a while to make.

Best to break everything out in to smaller and less sprawling posts then I think. A needed opportunity to reapply my 15 minute strategy which I’ve been bending and not always for the best.

Up next on Documenteering…

Kickstarter: Venture Capital without equity or a return

Candid and constant photography: A troubling evolving market

Innovation: Mostly about making mistakes. Let’s make some! 

Quantified Self: I’ll take Qualitative Self please

Recording all the things: Mutually assured disinterest

Why does everybody hate Google?

Yeah, 15 minutes on each should be enough…