Narrative unveiled the updated version of their tiny lifelogging camera dubbed Narrative Clip 2. With a higher resolution camera, bigger battery, wireless photo transfer, built-in GPS and swappable attachment mounts, the second generation device seems to fix all of the shortcomings of its predecessor.
The company, first called Memoto, set out to give people automatic memory, which came together in the form the Narrative Clip. Users can clip it on their shirt, hat, bag or whatever, and the camera will take two pictures every minute. Double tapping the front of the device with your finger snaps a picture when you want to capture something specific you’re looking at. Slipping the device in your pocket or laying it facedown turn the camera off. When you upload the photos to the companies servers, algorithms comb through the photos picking out the best ones to place in specific moments. Although the algorithms even automatically favorite specific photos it thinks are best, I’ve found that it seems to think extremely blurry, unidentifiable pictures are the best. The calendar button in the bottom right corner allows you to easily find specific dates that have moments. When viewing a moment, you can either click the play button, starting a slideshow at the rate of one picture a second, or manually swipe through the photos.
The Swedish company also released an updated version of their iOS and Android apps. Not did the apps get a cleaner visual revamp, but a new feature called “Public Moments” has been added. The ubiquitos share icon is now present at the top of every moment, allowing users to easily add an optional description before sharing it with the rest of the Narrative Community. Seeing other people’s moments is really interesting. I’ve seen snowball fights, car rides to work, the scenery from leisurely walks and entire days from people around the world. Viewing another person’s moment, especially random people, is more raw, personal and engaging than any other similar social media platform, like Vine, Instagram, VSCO Grid, etc.
Unlike other social photo services, Narrative users cannot follow other people. They can, however, like others shared moments. You’ll get a notification when someone likes your moment, but you cannot view their profile to see a feed of moments they have shared. You cannot interact with them besides a like, which seems oddly superficial for what is otherwise a personal, intimate service. Although the user base that is sharing moments is small now, the single public feed will become wild and unwieldy if too many people start sharing moments. Narrative may be testing out the social waters, but individual public facing profiles and the ability to follow others sooner rather than later will be crucial to the social aspect of Narrative’s service.