Although poised to become the brand-synonymous “Kleenex” of mini portable cameras, GoPro has some populist competition in Polaroid’s Cube, on pre-sale today for $99. Cube is an ultra-simple still and video camera that, at 35 millimeters on each side, is more compact, durable, and water-resistant than its competitors, meant more for cyclists than for daredevils with handheld telescoping mounts. And at a considerably lower price point for the same high-quality video, Cube’s bicycle handlebar mount could revolutionize the increasingly fraught place of cyclists on New York City’s streets.
Like Russia’s ubiquitous dashboard-mounted cameras, a bike-mounted Cube would improve accountability for cyclists and the vehicles and pedestrians around them. While it can’t change or account for user error, video doesn’t lie, and assessing situations like the recent death of Jill Tarlov by a cyclist in Central Park would be facilitated by video-recorded evidence of what transpired.
Cube is a nice comeback move from a once-ailing company, one with deeper photography roots than many companies currently in the cutting-edge tech game. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, one of Cube’s designers, Robert Brunner, said in reference to its throwback rainbow stripe: “We’ve had people under the age of 24 suggest that we ripped off Instagram.” C’mon, 24-year-olds.
Polariod will also offer Cube mounts for helmets, keychains, dashboard (or any flat surface that can be suctioned onto), tripods, and a strap mount for more MacGyvered Cube-ing. They’ll also sell a little monkey-shaped stand, with Cube as its head. It’s all very adorable, and very cheap compared to the other guys, broadening the range of people who will have access to this technology in this form.
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