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Soloshot automated actioncam tripod tracks your biggest moves

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December 20, 2012

SOLOSHOT tracks the athlete as he moves

SOLOSHOT tracks the athlete as he moves

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Ever since technology made video cameras small and light enough to wear comfortably on the body, manufacturers have been busy one-upping each other with features like GPS tracking, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth streaming, integrated internet uploading, remote controls and of course, better filming capabilities. But the basics have remained the same: small, lightweight cameras that sits on the filmer's body or gear and takes point-of view footage. SOLOSHOT brings a different point of view to the action sports filming equation – it's a tripod that incorporates an automated tracking system to deliver third-person footage without anyone behind the lens.

Point-of-view footage can be compelling if done right, but there's a reason professional sports films use it sparingly and focus on third-party footage – it looks better, delivers a more robust view of the action and beats nauseatingly shaky, amateurish POV footage every time. Of course, for the average non-sponsored athlete, the wearable action cam is the best, and possibly only, way of filming. It's inexpensive, easy to use and doesn't requiring bribing a buddy to stand around holding a camera all day.

SOLOSHOT's hardware provides a third-person filming option that eliminates the need for another person. Essentially a smart tripod, the system pairs a 360-degree rotating tripod mount with a transponder armband. The would be action hero slides the transponder on his arm, allowing the camera to track his movement automatically. The SOLOSHOT rotates along the plane it's set up on and captures all the action. It can pan as fast as 40 degrees per second and has been tested to 143 mph (230 km/h). A flashing LED light lets the action star check that it's working. SOLOSHOT Inc. claims it is the first action camera hardware of its kind.

Multiple SOLOSHOT models can be used in close proximity without interference

While the SOLOSHOT can rotate 360 degrees, it cannot tilt up or down, so things like big jumps could be missed. The user can manually set the tilt and zoom the camera out enough to capture all his moves, however. The waterproof transmitter has a 2,000-foot (610 m) range, providing flexibility in set-up.

SOLOSHOT works with any camera that weighs 5 pounds (2.3 kg) or less and accepts a traditional 1/4-inch tripod mounting screw. It offers a camera lock as a safety mechanism, but that will be of limited value if the tripod isn't locked or watched. The system is reportedly good for about five hours of battery life.

The SOLOSHOT was designed to film surfing, but it is also being marketed at everyone from snowboarders to equestrians to parents filming their children. After launching in late September, the system took home an ISPO BRANDNEW Award this month. It retails for US$479, which includes the electronics, tripod and travel bag, but not the camera.

The video below shows the hardware in action.

Source: SOLOSHOT

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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5 Comments

You would want to make sure you were on a quiet beach, can see a few of these being stolen.

Craig Smale
20th December, 2012 @ 05:38 pm PST

Easier to ask your girlfriend to suntan next to your camera than to hold your camera. Or just lock it up just like you would anything else of value:

Scott Taylor
20th December, 2012 @ 09:11 pm PST

A sufficiently large dog laying at the tripods base should discourage the sticky fingered.

Slowburn
21st December, 2012 @ 12:34 am PST

Chances are, if you're in any way decent in skill level at the action exploit of your choice or are attempting something so extraordinary, you would probably not have any trouble finding volunteers/friends/fans to hold a camera.

Otherwise for the mediocre rest of us, there's nothing that we can do that either hasn't been filmed already, or is worth filming to justify risking donating a nice Christmas present to a complete stranger. Good luck in chasing down a thief from a surf board.

sk8dad
21st December, 2012 @ 01:15 pm PST

I can see this being used to provide a third perspective to what you are filming.

You can have a headcam, a friend can shoot from another angle, and the Soloshot could be in an interesting position.

With creative editing, I can see that it would be a great for budget/amateur film makers.

I also don't see why the armband couldn't be tucked into a back pocket, making it much less obvious.

Rob Pennefather
22nd December, 2012 @ 01:47 am PST
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