At first, I didn't think this device had much use for genealogy purposes. Then, after a bit of thought, I realized it could be one of the most powerful tools available today for leaving a legacy for my descendants, telling them what my life was like. In fact, I wish that my ancestors had something like this available during their lives!
ParaShoot is a proposed (not yet available) HD video camera that you wear around your neck like a necklace or as a pin attached to your clothing. It is tiny, 1.9 inches by 1.2 inches by less than a half inch thick (48x30x11mm) and weighs only a few ounces. It records your life in full motion video with accompanying audio. You can see a ParaShoot camera in the photo of the producer's CEO at the right.
Several hours of video can be stored in the camera and later copied to your computer. Even better, encrypted video can also be uploaded to the cloud as it is being recorded without attaching it to anything else. The encrypted video is safe from prying eyes and is saved in a private, online account where you can retrieve it at any time, then watch it on most any computer, smartphone, or (with additional electronics) a television set. If you wish, the video can also be shared via email and social media platforms.
The internal battery will only last for a few hours when recording video. The ParaShoot can be left running continuously or set to record only when a button is pushed. Another option is to record video automatically in intervals. Suggested intervals are five minutes of footage every half hour, which amounts to an hour’s worth of video taken every six hours. A second battery in an (optional) neck strap can extend battery life for several more hours. If two batteries are purchased, the ParaShoot can shoot video continuously by swapping out the depleted battery for a freshly-charged unit every few hours, then placing the depleted battery into a charger to prepare it for the next use.
The retail price is expected to be $269 US but discounts are available for those who order in advance for fourth quarter 2013 delivery. Advance prices start at $120 and go up, depending upon the options selected.
I can envision dozens of applications for the ParaShoot, including recording a person's life as part of a video legacy to be left for future generations. However, I am sure there are huge privacy issues as well. Not everyone you meet will want to be recorded. Many places ban photography and it certainly is impolite in thousands of other situations.
For instance, at the genealogy conference I attended last week, video recording was banned during the various presentations and seminars. That is common at many conferences for all sorts of topics as well as at movies, plays, and other performances. Yet the ParaShoot is so small that it could easily be smuggled into the room as a necklace or something similar. I cannot imagine room monitors who would have to frisk all the attendees in the same manner as TSA does at airports!
Is this a technology advance or technology run amuck? Will our descendants really want to see our lives in detail? I suspect this won't be the last tiny video camera we will see.
You can read more about ParaShoot at http://goo.gl/DjKuH or watch the video below. The video shown here was all shot with a ParaShoot camera.