This game-changing invention has suddenly made the Apple Watch useful
'It's something science fiction has imagined for over half a century,' says the man behind it.
When the Apple Watch debuted last year, the world breathed a huge sigh of relief: We could finally mimic Dick Tracy and conduct video calls right from our wrist.
But reality wasn't as rosy. The watch didn't come with a camera. And so while it was good for a few things like fitness tracking, it was still missing that key element. That is, until now.
Jerusalem-based startup Glide, known for its popular video messaging app, unveiled a wristband attachment for the Apple Watch that includes not one, but two cameras. Users can now use their watch to make video calls, take pictures and a whole lot more. Seemingly overnight, the Apple Watch has suddenly become more useful.
"Things are about to change," Ari Roisman, the CEO of Glide, told From The Grapevine when we caught up with him this morning where he was at the airport in Boston catching a flight back home to Israel. "The camera only has value when it's out, when it's persistent, when it's ready to take a photo or video. I'm holding this large device in my hand as I walk around the airport here. I don't want to be holding anything in my hand. But I don't mind looking at my wrist."
He added: "Video messaging on smartwatches will deliver the ultimate convenience in personal communications, eliminating the need to repeatedly reach into one’s pocket to pull out a smartphone."
Glide has been working with Apple for years, ever since the app was created by three young Israeli entrepreneurs back in 2013. MIT Technology Review recently named Roisman, the 33-year-old co-founder, to its list of 35 innovators under 35.
To say the app – which allows users to send video messages as easily as a text message – has found a following would be an understatement. It's become extremely popular with those in long-distance relationships as well as those in the deaf community.
There are now 20 million registered users. Millions of messages are being sent daily, with the average user sending upwards of 15 messages a day. Since Glide's launch three years ago, more than a billion messages have been sent on the platform.
And with the invention of this new band – preorders are available now – it seems more people will be joining the Glide bandwagon. “Life’s spontaneous moments happen fast and are easy to miss. Having a camera instantly accessible on the wrist makes capturing and sharing incredibly simple and convenient,” Roisman said. “As smartwatches become independent of the phone, wrist cameras will become commonplace for capturing memories and communicating visually. We are thrilled to be the first to deliver on this long-awaited vision – something science fiction has imagined for over half a century.”
As he was boarding the plane, Roisman wanted to tell us one more thing. So he sent us a video message on Glide, of course. "We're moving to a world that is becoming more and more mobile. Where personal computing becomes more and more personal. And naturally we're going to want a camera added to that device," he said. "From a user experience, I think it's very exciting."
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