A couple of weeks ago I received a small package with the words Narrative written on the front. I was really excited to see this product come to fruition from a Kickstarter campaign, a company name change, and numerous shipping extensions and I now finally had the product in my hands.

My excitement about the Narrative Clip wasn’t necessarily about the so-called “Lifelogging” aspects, but the ability to wear around a relatively small and unnoticeable camera snapping a picture every 30 seconds or so to capture moments that I would otherwise would not have captured if I had to pull out my phone and manually snap a pic. Good news, the Narrative doesn’t disappoint, here are my experiences with it over the past few weeks.

People seem to love seeing the unboxing pics and how a company first presents their product to a customer. Here they are, packaging is simple and Apple-esque. Somewhat of a standard now a days for high-end gadgets.

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The device was about half charged when it arrived so it was great to get it up and going and use it right away, all it took was downloading the Narrative App (supports iOS and Android), downloading the Narrative Uploader, creating an account with Narrative and I ready to roll in about 15 minutes.

I wore it around the rest of the night and the next day before I uploaded photos to see what it had captured. Unfortunately, around 90% of the pictures where of either the sky, ceiling, or floor. It had to do with the positioning of the Clip when wearing. When clipped at chest or neck height the device tends to point slightly upward, when clipped to my shirt mid-torso it seemed to point slightly downward.

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After some experimenting I’ve found for me that the best way to wear the Clip is different depending on what I am doing. When walking around I have it clipped to a chain necklace, when driving it works great clipped to the visor, and it works great just clipped to a stationary object snapping pics of a room. You can also manually take pics with it by just double-tapping the front of the device, for some reason I can’t seem to get this work but to be fair I haven’t played with it much.

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The social aspects of wearing the clip have been really pretty interesting. It’s just big enough that people notice it if they are looking at you, and sometimes people ask what it is. I was initially replying that it is a “Lifelogger” snapping pictures every 30 secs. Almost universally the reply was, “Why would you want to do that, seems kind of creepy.” I now answer that question a little bit differently, my new usual response is, “It’s taking a photo every couple of minutes to capture moments of life that you otherwise wouldn’t catch having to manually take a picture. Great for vacations, parties, etc”.  Now people tend to respond more positively saying how cool it is and where can they get one!

Couple of other social things to consider. Be aware of when you should not wear it, or otherwise ensure it isn’t taking pictures. Like a public restroom, locker room, work, etc. just don’t do it. I’ve found when I have it clipped to a necklace it is easy to just tuck it behind your shirt so it isn’t taking pictures when you don’t want it to.

On to the software. Uploading the pics via the Narrative uploader is simple. It first uploads the pics to your computer, then moves the pics to the Narrative cloud, then categorizes the pics into “Moments” which is basically just breaking them up into smaller time chunks for easier review. The Narrative doesn’t store the pics on your computer by default, but you can go to the Narrative uploader settings and store them on your computer and in the cloud. One thing to be aware of is the time it takes for Narrative to create these Moments, the uploader on the computer will say the moments are ready for viewing but when you go to the app they aren’t there. I’ve experienced that it normally take 8-10 hours for the Moments to be available in the app – this might just be growing pains for a new company and I expect this to improve over time. It’s manageable though, just plug the Clip into your computer before you go to bed and they will be ready for you in the morning.

The Narrative app is where the experience shines. I first worried that it would be capturing so many pics that I wouldn’t be able to find the nuggets or otherwise be able to sort them for saving. The Narrative app does a great job at solving that problem with a unique way of either “Playing” through the pics or manually scrolling. In play mode it plays thru the pics like a movie allowing you to stop on those that catch your eye to save or do something with, alternatively you can “flick” your way thru the moments. I find that flicking my way thru the moments is faster and easier for me to see what I want to save.

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IMG_4559To get the pics out of the Narrative cloud you can save them to your Photo Roll, email, post to Facebook, post to Instagram, or post to Twitter. One feature I would like to see added is the ability to save to Dropbox, Box, iCloud, etc. because it is a bit cumbersome when you want to edit a photo you have to save it to your photo roll then save it to another location or email it to yourself.

All in all the Narrative Clip is a fantastic 1.0 device and experience. They’ve gotten a ton of stuff right the first time, but with any 1.0 product there will be some things to be improved on and I am looking forward to what Narrative has in store. In the meantime I’ll keep wearing to see what I capture. Here are some samples.

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Point of View training

 

 

 

 

 

 
IMG_4494  Stationary training

 

 

 

 

 

 
IMG_4546  Clip as a dash cam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4554  At an event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4550  Point of view doing work around the house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Couple of other cool shots.

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