Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Speak Into the Pen Please, Grandma

In this morning's email, I received my usual list of sale items from Costco. One item in particular caught my eye today: the Swann DVR-421 PenCam Mini Video Camera and Recorder.

On sale at Costco.com for $49.99 (with free shipping), it's part camera, part pen, and part something out of a James Bond movie.

Just imagine the uses! Grandma Susie is too nervous to talk about her childhood when you point that camcorder in her face, but get her talking and she won't even know the pen is recording! Lay your pencam on the table during Christmas Eve dinner and let the fun begin - no one even needs to know!

(I'm sure there are plenty of other creepy uses for a gadget such as this, but I won't get into those.)

The customer reviews are mixed - people love it or they hate it. The biggest complaint was that it either took lousy video or none at all (kind of defeats the purpose).

My question is: with no viewfinder, how do you know exactly what you're recording? Are you getting Grandma Susie's face, or some other body part?

What do you think? Useful oral-history-gathering-tool for reticent family members? Or creepy stalker device?

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The Fine Print: I am not an affiliate of Costco or Costco.com. I just thought this was an interesting gadget.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O'Neal

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Nancy said...

Maybe having enough time to play with it and see what it will and won't do is the key to success. Experimentation might help determine distance of focus/sound, etc. It sounds pretty amazing to me!

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

True, Nancy. I think it looks like a pretty nifty gadget. I'd love to try one, but not sure I want to spend the $$. We'll see what Santa decides. ;-)