Wearable Tech World Feature Article
August 22, 2013

Kapture Device Offers 60-Second Audio Buffer of Everything Around Wearable Technology

Many of us have likely been in a situation before where someone said something important that left us fumbling for a recorder and insistently requesting that whoever said it repeat the item in question now that a recording device of some kind is available. The Kapture device—about to start up a Kickstarter campaign geared toward its development—looks to do just that, but not without bringing a few unpleasant implications along for the ride.

The Kapture device is constantly in operation, continually buffering and preserving the last 60 seconds of audio that happens within range of its recording capabilities. When something particularly noteworthy happens in that minute—something personal, something important for business, and so on—the user can choose to save the last 60 seconds with just a quick interaction with the device. 

There's no screen, so the user interface is external and rather simple, and there aren't a whole lot of functions here to get in the way. But once a particular 60 seconds is chosen for later consumption, the memorable minute is downloaded to a smartphone via a Bluetooth connection just by touching the wristband in which the Kapture device is built. The audio is filtered for better recording and reduction of background noises, and can be fully charged in under an hour on the strength of a micro-USB port. There's even a mobile app involved allowing users to publicly post the snippets of audio complete with photos as needed.

Since it's wearable technology, the device has a clear aesthetic component to it, with interchangeable bands and grills—in colors like black and white, as well as seafoam, hard yellow and hot orange—that can be changed based on what the user is wearing at the time.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Kickstarter program supporting this tool is set to launch September 3, 2013, and run until October 2, 2013, with an eye toward raising $150,000 in funding to match the $300,000 already raised in a seed-stage round lied by CincyTech, and joined by several others. Should all go as planned, the device will release March of 2014.

While this certainly has some useful applications—immediate recording and archival of voice notes from a wristband to a smartphone's storage capabilities via Bluetooth is no mean feat—there are some more sinister applications here. Essentially, this is a device that's recording, constantly, the last 60 seconds of audio that come across it. That's potentially without anyone's knowledge or consent. Considering that this has a Bluetooth connection, it's easy to wonder what kind of countermeasures are built into the device that forbid someone else from getting into those last 60 seconds of recorded audio, saving it to the interloper's own device, and walking away with hours of candidly-recorded audio preserved at the rate of once per minute.

Like any tool, really, there are positive uses and negative uses. A hammer can be a weapon just as easily as it can be a building system, and so too can the Kapture device be a tool for recording fond memories among friends...or a blackmail weapon. It would be nice, while the Kickstarter's running, to see some protection against those less savory uses built in here, and hopefully, the campaign will show those off. Until then, the Kapture looks like a very useful tool, though some of those uses are patently dangerous.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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