BBC News

Shutter falls on life-logging camera start-up Narrative

image copyrightNarrative
image captionThe Narrative Clip cameras were a crowdfunding success but failed to catch on with the wider public

The Swedish maker of life-logging cameras has told owners that it is shutting down.

Narrative - which was originally known as Memoto - raised more than $550,000 (£425,000) when it crowdfunded its small wearable camera in 2012.

Its failure follows the demise of Autographer, which sold a similar item.

Others are still active in the sector and Sony has teased its own product. But one expert suggested such kit was doomed.

"I love the concept of life-loggers but after wearing one for several weeks and it quickly became clear that it made people uncomfortable," commented Ben Wood from the consultancy CCS Insight.

"People tended to consider it an invasion of their privacy and in business situations is was verging on unacceptable.

"Although a life-logger such as the Narrative Clip provided a much more discreet way of recording your day compared to the awkward-looking Google Glass, they also quickly became a lightning conductor for privacy concerns.

"But cameras are becoming so pervasive that I think it is only a matter of time before life-loggers resurface - a camera the size of a button that you could wear at all times might appeal to some."

image copyrightSony
image captionSony showed off the Xperia Eye wearable camera earlier this year but has not said if it will bring it to market

The Narrative Clip cameras automatically took a photo every 30 seconds and could also record videos.

Narrative has emailed owners saying it will no longer be able to support its products, but it is providing a tool to allow content stored on its servers to be downloaded. The cameras will also continue to record images into their local storage.

Although the life-logging concept may not have caught on, wearable cameras may still have a chance.

image copyrightSnap
image captionSnap's Spectacles will record video in a circular format

Last week, the makers of the popular Snapchat messaging app announced they plan to sell sunglasses that can record up to 30 seconds of video at a time.

Analysis: Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent

media captionRory Cellan-Jones tried lifelogging kit in 2013 for Newsnight

Three years ago, life-logging was all the rage. Devices like the Narrative Clip, the Autographer wearable camera and of course Google Glass promised a future where we would all record every moment of our lives - for posterity or to share instantly with the world.

Now all three have disappeared, swept away on a wave of indifference or active distaste.

It turned out that not many people wanted to record the extraordinarily dull minutiae of their lives - and their friends and family often objected to featuring in their home-made reality television shows.

Personally, I enjoyed trying out Google Glass and Autographer and kept meaning to get myself a Narrative Clip. But after a few weeks, I decided they were curios, not life-changing gadgets.

Just because technology makes something possible, it doesn't mean we will find it desirable or even useful.

Related Topics

  • Photography
  • Social media

More on this story

  • Life with a wearable camera