This was about the time when recording every aspect of your life was becoming a thing. It was also around the time when smartphone cameras weren’t quite at parity with dedicated devices. But with mobile technology advancing as quickly as it did, this type of mystery device suddenly lost mass appeal. There were enough of this device out there to put up a fight, and a lot of the later iterations were pretty terrific. But, ultimately, this mystery device—one of the more popular of which is above—lost out and faded into oblivion.
These days, this mystery device elicits plenty of fond memories. The type of reaction where you go, “Hey, I remember those.” And then you remember how badly you wanted one but could never justify the price when you could just spend that on a new smartphone. Devices dedicated to one specific purpose are difficult to market when they’re going up against big flagship smartphones—combine that with bad leadership and you’re doomed to failure. When this company was acquired and its products ultimately axed, it was really no surprise.
The devices themselves were pretty great, and valued simplicity over tons of unnecessary features; it was actually one of the more easier to use devices of its kind. The design was smart and very pocketable—that pop out USB trick was neat—and the constant iterations meant the video was always improving. It’s a bummer we don’t talk about devices like this today, what with so many handsets today possessing the same if not better technology.
I’m very sad to say this device no longer turns on, otherwise I would have brought it with me to CES in January. You can still buy one—and for quite a lot of money I might add—but why carry one around when you have a Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5s in your pocket? Good question, and probably why devices like this are no longer at the top of everyone’s wish list.
Last week’s Guess the Phone (device) was the PlayStation 3.