Camera gives users the gift of hindsight

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 05:00 06/01/2014
meMINI
PETER MEECHAM/Fairfax NZ
NOW YOU SEE IT: Sam Lee with the new meMINI point-of-view camera which can capture moments after they happen.

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A Kiwi entrepreneur is taking his retrospective recording camera to the world through an online Kickstarter campaign.

Sam Lee, the founder of Wanaka's Snow Park ski facility, has spent the past six months creating meMINI.

The small camera, which attaches to clothing or surfaces using a strong magnet, records without saving footage until a button is pushed.

Recall technology means the camera saves the moments just past. Lee described it as the "gift of hindsight".

He said the cameras would be launched through popular crowd-funding website Kickstarter on January 7.

The cameras would sell for US$149 (NZ$183) through Kickstarter.

The campaign goal was to raise a minimum of US$50,000 to fund the first round of production, Lee said.

If the campaign was successful, meMINI would be launched through mainstream retail avenues to the rest of the world, including New Zealand, for US$249 by the end of August.

Lee said he would be at the annual United States consumer electronics show during the launch, and the Kickstarter campaign would last a month.

He said meMINI's target market was families.

The meMINI could capture moments with children and families without creating excess content, Lee said. It would eventually be sold in electronics stores and hopefully baby stores.

Lee said he had seen the evolution of video and cameras such as the GoPro while on the slopes and working at Snow Park in Wanaka.

"Everyone's made action cameras," he said.

However, meMINI had unique functions with its retrospective recording and cloud-sharing capabilities, he said.

Lee developed the camera with Ben Bodley, chief executive and founder of specialist camera-design company Teknique.

Blender Design and the Auckland University of Technology laboratory had helped create the working prototypes of meMINI.

Lee has spent the past six months in Auckland working on developing the camera, and had used his own money to fund the project.

He said Kickstarter was a great platform for New Zealand.

The internet had opened up a world of opportunities for people with creative startup ventures, he said.

"We have to pick people up and throw them out to the world to get people behind them," he said.

However, it was "all or nothing" when it came to Kickstarter.

"If you don't make your goal, you don't get anything," he said.

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- Fairfax Media

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