It looks like the Looxcie could be in for some competition. Panasonic has used CES 2013 to unveil its HX-A100 Wearable Camcorder. Like the Looxcie, the little Panasonic camera can be worn on the head without a helmet (using its included Earhook), streaming HD video live on Ustream via Wi-Fi.
For users who aren’t intent on broadcasting their exploits live, the A100 also records footage on a memory card located in its tethered control unit – that device sits in an armband worn by the user, raising the possibility of the cord between the two gadgets getting snagged on things. Using that unit, users can choose between formats of 1080p/60fps, 720p/120fps or 360p/240fps.
Shooting possibilities are broadened by the fact that the A100 is waterproof to 1.5 meters (5 feet) for 30 minutes, plus it’s also dustproof, and can be mounted on things like helmets and backpacks using an optional Multi-Mount.
It also includes a built-in image stabilizer (presumably digital), and a Level Shot function that automatically straightens out crooked shots – a useful feature, given that the camera lacks a viewfinder. If users are checking its shot using a paired mobile device, they can also use that device to start or stop recording.
With its F2.5 lens and back-illuminated sensor, the A100 is claimed to capture clear, low-noise images in both bright and dim light. It also has a Wind Noise Cut function, to limit the amount of wind noise recorded. One charge of the camcorder’s battery is reportedly good for 140 minutes of use, when recording in Full HD with the Wi-Fi turned off.
The HX-A100 Wearable Camcorder is available for pre-order, at US$299.99. It is expected to start shipping in March.