My Favorite Piece of Tech Gear Right Now

Ben Bajarin / December 23rd, 2011

I have nearly every gadget and gismo imaginable. Luckily for me, analysts get great gear to review as well. A friend at a party, who knows all to well about all the great tech gear I get to play with, asked me what my favorite was at the moment. I didn’t even hesitate and I said my GoPro HD.

Before I go further you have to understand that I make a lot of home movies and take a lot of pictures. For me preserving memories is a very high priority. So I’m that dad that takes pictures and video in a simple attempt to preserve as many memories as possible and is always looking for a great moment to capture.

The GoPro HD was designed primarily with extreme adrenaline junkies in mind (which I used to be) and not necessarily for dads who like to take video walking around Disneyland but that is exactly how I used it.

Convenient Hands Free Video Recording
One of the problems with taking a lot of video to capture memories and moments is that you often miss the actual moment. You are so focused on holding the video camera or camera phone and making sure the moment is in focus and captured accordingly that you are staring at the moment through the phone or video camera lens.

I constantly see others trying to record a moment on video, while simultaneously trying to look over the camera so they can see the moment first hand. All the while looking back and forth between the video camera and watching what they are trying to record.

This is what a wearable recording device solves. It gives the watcher the ability to record a first person point of view recording while also being able to focus on the moment.

One particular operating challenge they solved was how to operate with only one hand and while not looking at the camera. This is needed because more often than not the camera and casing are either on your head with the head strap or mounted to your helmet. Understanding this the team at GoPro made the device dead simple to operate. One button turns it on, and the other starts and stops the recording. The on/off button also allows you some menu customization but I rarely use it for that.

The GoPro was specifically designed for the extreme sports enthusiasts and of course it works brilliantly for this use case. I use it frequently when I ride ATVs. I, however, found it interesting how useful it came in for non-extreme sporting events and everyday life events. Like swimming in the ocean or a pool with my kids, or on roller coasters and other rides at Disneyland, and riding bikes with the family in Tahoe. Although these were not the primary use cases marketed for the GoPro, I am convinced that even for the non-extreme sports junky this wearable recording device is a easy and convenient way to capture great and unique video.

The only dilemma you have to overcome to use it outside of extreme sports, is the odd looks people give you when you go out in public with a camera mounted to your head. Here is a slightly embarrassing picture of me on the Tea Cups at Disneyland sporing the GoPro.

The key is to not take yourself too seriously.

The camera while in the case is very durable. It is waterproof, sand proof, dust proof, tree branch proof (since I whacked it on a low hanging tree brance while riding my ATV on a trail), and a whole lot more.

So why is the GoPro HD my favorite piece of tech right now? The answer is simple. Most of what I have in the way of tablets, notebooks, smart phones–and more–are personal electronics and mostly only enjoyed by me. The GoPro, however, although used by me produces things that can be enjoyed and fun for everyone. It enables a memorable and shared experience that is fun and entertaining. This is what makes it great. It is fun to use, I am having fun when I use it, and it produces content that can be shared, consumed, and valued by my family and friends. Therefore everyone wins–not just me.

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio
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