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Inventors think outside the square

Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013
Civic Milford

SMALL BEGGININGS: Ben Thomsen, Ben Bodley and Ollie McDermott with two prototypes of the Quebee, a compact high definition camera developed at their Albany office

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A high definition camera which fits in the palm of your hand is the latest technology to come out of what has been dubbed "Silicon Albany".

The multimillion-dollar innovation hub is home to small businesses creating new technology and exporting globally, industrial designer Ollie McDermott says.

He nicknamed the area after San Francisco's Silicon Valley, where corporations such as Facebook, Google and eBay are based and is known as the hi-tech capital of the United States.

Albany is experiencing a swarm with technology businesses moving in and collaborating, the Bayview man says.

Blender Design, founded by Mr McDermott and Schnapper Rock business partner Ben Thomsen, has teamed with miniature camera designers Teknique to create Quebee.

The cube-shaped high definition camera has five hours' battery life - a feat for such a small product, Mr McDermott says.

Teknique's Ben Bodley says smaller ventures, like Blender and Teknique, must join together to compete on the global stage.

Now they hope to raise $100,000 to cover the final stages of development and manufacturing.

They are using Kickstarter, an American online crowdfunding website which launched in New Zealand this year. Crowdfunding brings them closer to key customers for feedback, Mr Bodley, of Wainui, says. Quebee has been under development for 10 months.

The mini camera takes photos and wide-angle video and is controlled by a smartphone application, Mr Bodley says.

It is water resistant, Bluetooth and WiFi capable and has a one-button control.

It gets users "back in the moment", he says. The Kickstarter campaign has raised more than $45,000 so far and ends on December 23.

Go to to pledge.

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- North Shore Times

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