It's been about two years since the release of the first Looxcie wearable camcorder and over a year since it was joined by a lighter, more powerful second version. Now mobile video sharing has gone high definition with the launch of the Looxcie HD, featuring full 1080p recording capabilities and built-in Wi-Fi.
Looxcie says its new HD video cam is the first wearable camera that offers direct-to-Facebook live streaming through the Looxcie App for Facebook on a smartphone or tablet running iOS (5.0 or higher) or Android (2.3.3 or higher). Live mobile streaming is available up to 480p resolution and the camera adapts output to match the capabilities of the network, so streaming over 3G will be at 240p at 15 frames per second (fps), and 320p/15 fps for 4G or Wi-Fi. Users can specify exactly who gets to see the live broadcasts by creating viewing groups, which can be amended on the fly.
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If users choose to record rather than stream, 1080p (30 fps), 720p (60 fps), or 480p (30 fps) resolution options are offered. The Looxcie HD also features the company's Instant Clip button that caters for instant replays of just-happened action at 1080p (30 fps), 720p (60 fps), 480p (30 fps) or 320p (15 fps). Recordings are saved in MPEG 4 file format.
The new camera weighs in at around three ounces (85 g) and features a low-light-friendly (650mV/lux-sec) CMOS camera sensor with a 75-degree field of view and auto light correction for outdoor and indoor use. It also has a microSD media card slot for storage and a 1200mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery that should be good for about two hours of HD recording, and which users can remove and replace as necessary. The company told us that although it's not yet completed its IP testing, the "Looxcie HD should withstand water conditions other than submersion and should be sealed sufficiently to not allow any dust to enter the enclosure (seal is included)."
The Looxcie HD is currently available for pre-order and costs US$279.99 for just the camera or $329.99 for the Explore package, which includes mounting options for ball caps, helmets and bikes.
This makes the basic video cam option a little less expensive than the HD HERO 2 from GoPro (which benefits from a 170-degree field of view and includes a fully waterproofed housing).
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