The new Powerful Self-Editing Action Camera Is the Future of Home Video

Powerful Self-Editing Action Camera Is the Future of Home Video
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Another great camera is here, the camera that captures all things.
That always-on, always-recording feature forces you to view and edit hours of B-roll, just to get to the highlights of that awesome 720 backside grab you did on the halfpipe.
Enter Graava, a young startup with an artificially intelligent action camera that promises to do all your editing for you. The idea is that you’ll shoot video all the time, and trust the camera to save the best bits. The Graava camera ($249 during pre-orders) is a keychain-sized gadget that looks like a Pico projector in an white, black, or orange plastic shell. It clips onto your helmet, handlebars, or wherever, and records everything in your direct line of vision. It shoots 1080p video at 30 frames per second, or 720p at 60 fps. As it’s filming, Graava gathers data from its accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, GPS, and other sensors. That info—a landmark identified via the GPS or quickened heart rate picked up by your Apple Watch—tips Graava off to exciting moments buried in the footage.


The Graava founders reason that certain sensory spikes, like a savory smell, or an unusual sight, can indicate moments our brains would normally catalog. The camera does the same thing. A spike in heart rate or your speed, for example, might indicate a wicked descent on a trail. The camera uses those variations from the norm to rate events in the footage. You can also say “Graava” to the camera if you want to flag a moment it might not otherwise catch.
Once the footage has uploaded to the cloud, Graava uses that data to auto-edit your day’s highlight reel to whatever length you specify. Suddenly, three hours of your largely lackadaisical fishing trip becomes ten minutes of cannonballs and fish flopping on deck. “With Graava,” says founder Bruno Gregory, “we emulate the way the human memory works.”


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At least, that’s the promise. Our memories and emotions aren’t quite as simplistic as, “That pretzel vendor smelled amazing, I’ll remember him later,” so Graava does require a bit of babysitting during the editing process. A simple, drag-and-drop editing bar lets you delete bits that weren’t so sensational, and add back moments that felt significant. Gregory says that over time, Graava’s software uses another machine-learning algorithm to take stock of the kinds of footage you like, so that next time it can cater its editing choices to what you, specifically, find interesting.
Graava has limitations. For one, the battery lasts three hours. It also doesn’t have emotions, and no algorithm or amount of data can replicate our sentimental memory. That also might be okay. If Graava’s intelligent software works as described, we could have a new sub-category of home video on our hands—one that’s less extreme than your typical skateboarding, surfing or rappelling GoPro footage, and easier to refine than an Instagram video, which requires lots of inputs and tweaks on a tiny screen. You can imagine a designer easily compiling footage of a new product prototype to post on Kickstarter, or a parent’s delight at seeing their daughter’s soccer tournament auto-edited to stellar plays and goals. These are useful things. It’s less like your memory, more like a theatrical trailer for your everyday life.
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