|Rocking the spy glasses in my studio|
|Photo from the new glasses. I blame the color on the wildfire smoke. In regular daytime lighting the color does not appear dim like this.|
Now, the trouble with the videos I've already recorded is that they don't show enough close detail. With someone else filming, the view is naturally somewhat removed. And it's hard to hold the camera and make a pinch pot with two hands. So I bought myself a set of "spy glasses" or camera glasses. My daughter's art teacher mentioned using spy glasses for wheel throwing demos, and I was struck with how great that idea sounded. It isn't really feasible to attach a regular camera or phone to one's head, but glasses belong on one's face already. I could get a GoPro and strap it to my forehead, but the angle would be too high and I'd have to look below where I was working. The glasses, theoretically, give a view of the clay and my hands that matches what the students will see when they are using their own hands.
|The glasses, plugged in for downloading, and the tiny manual|
I purchased these glasses a few weeks ago and have spent the past two weeks climbing the learning curve. The glasses seem decent. The video and audio quality is pretty good, at least with good lighting, they're comfortable (even when I'm wearing them over my regular glasses). Uploads have been mostly fine and not particularly complicated. But the glasses certainly aren't flawless. The manual is sized for a doll and was written by someone with a loose grasp of English grammar. Luckily, there are only two buttons and a total of maybe 8 actions one could do with the glasses, including turning the camera on and off, taking a picture or video, taking the microSD card in and out, uploading content, and reseting the camera when "...the product is affected by improper operation or unknown reasons..." (page 03, Reset).
|Page 02 and 03 of the manual|
The directions (and punctuation) for some of these actions may qualify as Dada poetry.
"Short press the Power button to turn on, the blue indicator light.
the photo file."
"In the standby state, long press the Camera key 3 seconds release the hand, the indicator light blue flashes three times extinguishes the machine to enter the automatic recording state..."
And on the last page of the manual, all text is underlined:
"If for whaterer erason you have any issues with our product please to not hesitate to email us with your order # information."
|...just, for no "erason" a mostly blank set of pages with all underlined text|
Ok, but I should be more patient; I did not pay a ton for these glasses and who cares if they didn't format or edit their manual. The product actually works fairly well much of the time. The frustration has been mostly in that the camera doesn't always indicate that it is or is not recording. I have a number of pictures of my lap and the side of the table, and I also recorded at least two instances of the clicking sound the button makes when it is supposed to be ending the recording. I also have a video that ends with a walk into the kitchen and me complaining to my husband that the camera stopped recording (spoiler: it didn't). I got confused because the indicator light has about a 60/40% change of actually indicating what is happening.
I also have been struggling with where to focus when making the recording. If I look through the lenses, at the table where I am "working" the glasses generally record the area above (or behind) where my hands are, so I've taken to sliding the frames down the bridge of my nose, aligning my eyes with the top edge of the frames, and using that as a target for where to record. Since the lenses are non-prescription and I don't always wear contacts, this serve the dual function of allowing me to look through my real glasses while wearing the camera glasses. I have thus negated their function as "spy glasses" but since I am alone in the studio anyway, no one cares. I wouldn't say that I've completely figured out where to aim the glasses or my face, as can be seen in the video above, but I'm getting better.
|my studio and the East facing window, earlier this year|
I have also found glasses do not do well with movement. I initially tried to record video walking into and looking around my studio (the other video in this post that was re-recorded on my phone), but on the glasses was jerky and hard to watch. I have since been trying to keep my head unnaturally still. I also discovered that the glasses require pretty good lighting to work well. Luckily they don't require an internet connection, so I can use them in my newly remodeled studio which has big beautiful windows to let in natural light. When the entire West coast isn't covered by smoke, that natural light is pretty nice.
|the other, South facing window in my newly remodeled studio|
I hope I have worked through the worst problems, and will continue to improve in operation of the glasses. The glasses have quit functioning entirely twice. Restarting them worked once, and replacing the microSD worked another time. I am hopeful that that's the worst of it and those tricks will continue to solve problems. I might also need to practice meditation before troubleshooting, perhaps the Dada poetry manual will help.