Posted in 21st Century Ed, Audio/Video, Podcasting, Web 2.0 Tools

The New Swivl, Crowdfunding & Knowmia

Earlier this week, I came across a video enhancement device called Swivl. The concept is simple. Create a rotating stand that you can put a camera device on, and then provide a sensor that will cause the device to follow you (the presenter) around automatically. The implementation was probably nowhere near as simple. Watching the demo videos was exciting.

Not only will the device follow you as you move about, but the remote sensor also records audio, so the problem of producing quality audio, wirelessly, for your video, as you move about, is solved. There is something captivating about a device that thinks you are important enough to follow your every movement;-) In one of the demo videos, the instructor moves the remote and actually uses it as a pointing device to direct the camera to what is written on the board. The signal from the remote device will also bounce off of reflective surfaces, so even if you turn around and are writing on a board (or pointing to something), the Swivl will continue to track your movements.

The first version of Swivl does not support the iPad or DSLR cameras, but the next gen products are supposed to. There is a “sports mode” that causes the device to track you, even when you are moving more quickly. Think about using this in PE or sports activity analysis.

I wonder if I could use one remote and two Swivl devices to track me with two cameras. The resultant blended video might rival Spielberg.  How about putting your iPad and new Swivl on a tripod and running the “Video Recording Teleprompter 2” app.  Walking around in a circle, while your background changes, talking directly to the camera (while reading from a script) could create an impressive movie.

I do not purport to understand the crowdfunding process, other than investors pay “up front,” have a say in the product development, and reap the rewards of first dibs on the newly released item that hopefully works especially as they would like. *For instance, I noted that the first version used AAA batteries in the remote and base. I immediately thought that I would much rather have a rechargeable battery. I see that the new Swivl will have rechargeable batteries. *The new Swivl footprint is slick and smooth.

While on the Swivl web site, one link directed me to Knowmia. This is a free site for developing and presenting short educational videos. They even have a useful, free, iPad app.

I installed the Knowmia app on my iPad2 and started testing it out. I’ll admit that I finally had to watch the instructional demo, but afterwards using the various functions was much easier. I still am enamored of Prezi for its simplicity and flow, but the Knowmia app does provide some interesting functionality in creating presentations.

Perhaps in later generations of Swivl, they will incorporate a Roomba, and you will be able to move about the house, not just in one room.


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