With phones capable of taking high-resolution pictures and always at the ready, what would compel a teenager to carry a separate camera? That was the starting point for Artefact’s revolutionary new camera concept--Meme, a wearable accessory slightly larger than an iPod Nano that takes photos with a click of a button and displays the results on an artsy grayscale screen, allowing users to share moments right as they happen.
Artefact’s rethink of the digital camera began last year, when it introduced WVIL, essentially a viewfinder with an interchangeable lens. This time around, the Seattle-based studio decided to target a younger demographic. “We thought about how to re-imagine this device as a product that teens and young adults would want to use as much as their phones,” Artefact says. “But rather than try to displace the cell phone as camera, we wanted to find a solution that integrates into the existing tech ecosystem.” As such, the 8-megapixel Meme is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 for transferring images wirelessly to a mobile device. An app would be used for photo editing, online sharing, and publishing to the camera display, while a micro USB port would allow tethered connectivity and charging.
Indeed, the design nuts at Artefact have thought of everything--without weighing down the device with over-functionality. In fact, the beauty in large part lies in its utter simplicity: One press of the large button snaps a shot; a double click activates the auto-capture mode, so users can document an entire party or performance without fumbling with a bunch of settings.
Lastly, by transforming the traditional lens camera into a wearable screen (it can be worn as a necklace or attached with a pin or clip), Artefact tapped into the idea of using tech as a means of self-expression--an especially smart strategy for attracting the Lady Gaga generation. The e-ink display uses the same technology as Amazon’s Kindle, but here, the 32-bit grayscale monitor renders moody, black-and-white images that complement the retro-cool, color-saturated effect of Instagram.