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New Lyve Cam Wants to Be the GoPro of Capturing Life Events (Video)

Lyve Cam aims to help you put your phone down and enjoy life more.

Asa Mathat for Re/code

Go to any concert, wedding, child’s birthday party, and you’ll see a sea of glowing smartphone screens, as everyone tries to capture memories of the event. But in doing so, you miss out on the actual experience itself.

Cupertino, Calif.-based startup Lyve Minds wants to change that with a new product called Lyve Cam.

Introduced today at the Code Conference, Lyve Cam is a puck-sized device that can capture 4K video and 13-megapixel photos. The idea is to place the camera(s) at your event and let it automatically record everything for you, so you can have more face-to-face time and less screen time.

“We thought, what if we could create an extension of the smartphone camera?” Lyve Minds CEO Tim Bucher said during the onstage demo.

A simple slider switch on top of the camera starts the video recording. Lyve Cam also connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth; using the accompanying iOS or Android app, you can preview what it’s recording and adjust the camera’s settings.

In addition to 4K, the device can shoot 1080p and 720p video at 30 frames per second. It offers a wide-angle view, and the camera spits out six different video formats, including one that’s optimized for livestreaming. Plus, users can set the camera to take still photos at various time intervals.

It has 32 gigabytes of onboard storage but no microSD card slot. All photos and video are automatically transferred to Lyve’s cloud service, so you can access your content via the Lyve app, which is also available for the Amazon Kindle and as Mac and Windows desktop clients. If you have the company’s Lyve Home storage box, you can also view your content there.

The Lyve Cam’s battery life is estimated at about four hours when shooting at 1080p.

Bucher demoed the technology by placing three Lyve Cams on the Code stage and having them record the presentation. Three different angles were captured from around the stage.

As the cameras captured images, they popped up in real time in the Lyve app. (It also works with the app’s recently launched photo-sharing feature, Mix.)

So: Tiny 4K camera with wide-angle view, mobile app for live viewing and a variety of accessories to mount the thing. Sound familiar?

Bucher said GoPro was part of the inspiration for Lyve Cam, but he wanted to offer a solution that didn’t require users to have to connect their device to a computer to get contents off of the camera.

Plus, the Lyve Cam’s promised battery life sounds much better.

The cost (and release date) of the Lyve Cam was not announced today, and while Bucher said onstage that it will be “very low,” it could still add up. Currently, there’s no way to zoom or change camera angles other than manually moving the device. So in order to capture different perspectives and ensure you don’t miss a moment, you’ll likely need more than one Lyve Cam.

Lyve also offers a free cloud service with unlimited photo storage; the company plans to launch a premium service later this year that will include unlimited photo and video storage, among other things.

“When you ask someone, who do you trust for your life memories, who do you use for your life memories, some will say Facebook or Instagram. Someone else might say themselves. We’re all going to have different answers,” Bucher said. “That’s why we believe Lyve will exist. We want to be the Kodak of the digital era.”

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