We live in the age of over-documentation. Have a snarky quip about the guy in line for coffee? Tweet about it. Score a reservation at a new restaurant? Instagram your appetizer. It's enough to make even the most levelheaded of us go full Luddite. That's why we were drawn to the Autographer, a wearable smart camera that captures moments organically by documenting your life while you're busy living it.
The unobtrusive, candy bar-sized digital automatic camera uses a group of light, motion, GPS, and temperature sensors that signal the shutter to click when they feel that some interesting shift has occurred. No hands needed. You can wear the camera around your neck, or strap it onto a backpack, car, or anywhere else you think something fun might happen. The only setting that needs to be manually adjusted is the shutter frequency (low, medium, or high); a Bluetooth connection links the gadget to passive photographer's phones. It has 8 gigs of internal storage and enough battery life to make it through a full day of shots.
The camera fires when you start or stop running, jump, dive, or step into the cold. The images, are sometimes at wonky angles, but they're completely clear thanks to a sensitive light sensor and fast shutter speeds. We found it to be the perfect camera for mountain biking, running, and playing with a dog because it captured the moment without ruining it. The Autographer may be the first self-documentation development that keeps you focused on the fun at hand. [$399; autographer.com]
Days tested: Two
Area tested: New York City
Conditions encountered: Subways, pick-up courts, a few crowded elevators, and a Central Park trail.
Nitpick: Looks a bit like a necklace and takes photos that need to be cropped.