CMRA: the awesome Apple Watch strap with integrated cameras you’ll never buy

By , Nov 2, 2016

Chat on Glide with CMRA

The idea of having a camera on your Apple Watch is an interesting one. As tech becomes smaller and batteries become more capable, this is definitely a direction Apple will take at some point, but we’re just too early in development.

That’s where a startup comes in with CMRA, a band for Apple Watch that adds not one, but two HD cameras to the strap, allowing you to easily and quickly shoot photos or record videos. Well, in theory anyway.

CMRA is getting lots of press coverage today, and for good reasons. It’s showcasing a product that appears to be really cool and maybe even useful. That is if you can stomach the price and wait until next year for the product to hopefully launch.

The CMRA features two HD cameras embedded in the band. There is an outward-facing 8MP camera, and a self-facing 2MP camera. At this time, it is unclear to me if both cameras or only the outward-facing one can record videos, but either way, it’s pretty cool.

CMRA

Why would you need CMRA anyway? CMRA’s website suggests it’s just a more practical product…

The smartphone has become our primary camera. With all of its conveniences, the smartphone is big, and it lives in your pocket. It takes time to retrieve, quickly runs out of battery, and is far from rugged.

What if you could capture more and carry less? What if capturing a moment were as easy as blinking your eye? You wouldn’t need to step out of the moment in order to save it. And you wouldn’t need to have an expensive, delicate device in your hand every time you wish to preserve or share a memory.

I’m not sure if launching an app on my Apple Watch offers a better experience than swiping left on my iPhone Lock screen, but I could be wrong.

If you’re going to pack two cameras and a battery in a strap, you know it’s got to be clunky and bulky. Sure enough! As much as the designers tried to hide the bulkiness of the tech inside the strap, it’s just awfully bulky, as you can see on some of the shots.

CMRA Charger Also Charges Apple Watch

And then there is the price and availability. You can pre-order one today for $149, or wait until the product officially launches, at which point, the CMRA will cost you $249. The kicker has to be that the product isn’t estimated to ship until Spring 2017. Phew!

As you might have guessed, I’m terribly bearish on this bulky, overpriced, unpractical, and unneeded device that may or may not ever ship. To me the CMRA is the solution to a problem no one has, but it’s definitely a good attempt at making something really original. It’s great on paper, but not so much in practice.

Cameras will eventually make their way to the Apple Watch. It’s inevitable, but the time hasn’t come yet. Certainly not at this price, and certainly not under this form factor.

If you think I’m missing the point, you’ll be glad to know you can pre-order the CMRA today.

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  • P1nGu1n0

    I don’t get thing. How can you send a video through iMessage on the watch? Wouldn’t Apple have to set that up? Why advertise something that may require a third party messaging app. Also, why would they sell a stand that doesn’t work as an alarm clock. I am pretty sure a lot of people use their watch as night clocks.

    • therealjjohnson

      I assume it would send as text. If the person you are texting has an iPhone then it will just go through as an iMessage. Just like another video you would take. I don’t think they need any special access or third party messaging app. I don’t think so at least…

      • P1nGu1n0

        That’s what throws me off because the iMessage app on the watch has 4 buttons. Speech to text, emoji, the heart rate sensor and scribble. Would a cámara button show up if u connect one?

      • therealjjohnson

        I think via whatever app they use there would be a share/send via text option. You would send from that app vs sending from iMessage itself. Sorta like how different pic collage apps allow you to send your picture to text via the share sheet. Not sure if app developers have that option with watchOS or not though.

      • P1nGu1n0

        I agree with the “never buy” in the title. The apps are slow on the watch. Personally I would not want to bother waiting on an app to load. Also how compatible will this be in the long run with software updates? It’s a cool concept but not really useful.

      • therealjjohnson

        Yeah, unless it used FaceTime it’s a no buy for me too. I need someone to actually be able to video chat with in order for this to be useful.

      • P1nGu1n0

        Agreed I could use that but I would hope that no 3rd party FaceTime app would be necessary

      • Riley Freeman

        glide has its own video chat app in the app store. Is actually more compatible since glide is avaialble on android as well as ios

      • techfreak23

        I don’t believe there is currently an option for developers to send images or videos via MMS or iMessage or even attach media to any message for that matter. I could be wrong though as I’ve never actually gone through the full Watch documentation, but I have not seen any that do that.

  • Riley Freeman

    i can tell you my friends and i have a groupchat on whats app and when we see a hot girl, we try and snap a pic and share. We dont do anything malicious or post it on the internet. Everything remains private in the group chat. So the camera feature definitely has its uses.

    Im sure hteres advantages if you want to record someone doing something without them noticing. Could be something silly or something criminal. So there is definitely a use. The problem here is the price because the apple watch is already high priced.

    The ship date is also pretty far. If it had said early 2017 or holidays that would be more appealing.

    • therealjjohnson

      Apple watch bands cost just as much as this though. My blue leather band ran me $150. I would feel a little better spending $150 on a band if it had 2 cameras and a charger in it.

      • Riley Freeman

        completely agree but there are the cheaper silicone bands.

        I am going to pre-order this. This will be the first time i ever pre-order something that’s in the kickstarter/gofundme etc period. I usually wait until its delivered.

        don’t like the fact that if they do not deliver the products, you dont get a refund.

      • Rowan09

        I’ve order something in a kickstarter and still haven’t received anything since last year.

    • george

      So you want a camera on your watch so you can have an easier time being a creep?

      • Riley Freeman

        you call it what u want. Im nort hurting anyone. If that bothers you, thats you’re problem to deal with it. I lose no sleep at night.

      • george

        Cool story bro, go learn to be a descent human being.

  • By the time this releases; Apple will likely be getting ready to release their own Apple 3 watches with cameras and facetime chat.

    • 5723alex .

      No, they won’t

  • Nolan I.

    I wonder if this uses the diagnostic port…

  • george

    So dumb

  • Bugs Bunnay

    Watch samsung jack this idea with a 12 megapixel version

    • Impreza

      Samsung had a camera on one of their fprevious gear smartwatch from memory around the time of google glass. Even when they’re first they cop a pasting.