The camera that turns back time is coming … soon!

The camera that turns back time is coming … soon!
Hitting their Kickstarter crowdfunding goal of $50,000 in just eight days, MeMINI is an innovative camera unlike anything else on the market. It’s as close as ever to hitting the shelves, and Sam Lee, the entrepreneur behind the projects, gave Idealog a run down on how things are going, and the lessons he’s learnt.

Priceless moments can easily turn into missed recording opportunities if you’re not holding and recording with your camera at the right time. 

Enter the meMINI. First revealed to the world in a Kickstarter campaign at the beginning of last year – which we had written a couple articles about – the device is a wearable Wi-Fi enabled camera with “recall” technology. That means it’s constantly recording while you go about your daily life, but the video is only permanently saved when you press a button.

So instead of preparing ourselves to click a shutter or hit record, the meMINI device is a reactive tool, which captures things that have already happened, allowing users to snap up the previous “moment” after it has already happened. 

Which is great, according to Sam Lee, co-founder of meMINI, for businesses in tourism, enterprises, and training videos or validations for specific jobs.


Sam Lee

“Say, you need an employee to check off that they’ve completed a task – like a courier – you just hit the button, and done,” Lee says

“Or in enterprise, when you’re in a technical meeting and you need to get all the information down. Or capturing a verbal contract in a sales pitch, and all the technicalities that are involved – the camera does it for you,” he says.

“And in retail, you could use the videos for training new staff on procedures, or for secret shoppers to record their interactions,” Lee says. “Or you can catch people in the act [of speaking] when they give on-the-spot positive or negative feedback about your services.”

There’s no need to set up any extra type of equipment, and users of the device who capture customers only have to seek a verbal affirmation to use the video.

Now about two years since the original inception of the device and 18 months since the Kickstarter campaign, the device is close to hitting storeshelves.

Kickstarter success

A fan of crowdfunding and having concluded his own successful campaign, Lee says Kickstarter has evolved massively in its relatively short life.

“Major brands are now doing consumer validation [on Kickstarter],” Lee says. “A good campaign would cost upwards of $40,000 to $50,000.”

According to Lee, that’s the price for a technology hardware product, which includes having a dedicated marketing team, a slickly produced video to show off your stuff, and other bits and pieces.

“You don’t even launch until you have at least 10,000 emails now.”

Developing meMINI has given Lee insight into not only designing a successful crowdfunding campaign, but also the practical side of producing a technology product.

“Hardware is really hard,” Lee says. “The amount of time required is [crazy]. One mistake and you need to do a massive re-work.”

That hard work, however, is now starting to pay off, with interest coming in from multiple parties, and hiring new personnel to expand the business.

Looking to release at the end of the third quarter of this year, Lee says the majority of the hardware has been completed, and the company is at the final Beta testing phase for the software, with much of the final tweaking being down on how much time the camera auto-records once a user presses a button.

Using a paired smartphone app, Lee says users will be able to not only record things that has already happened, but also set it so it records a set amount of time into the future.

Lee says he sees plenty of B2B potential for the product, and is now actively looking for innovative Kiwi businesses to partner with.