Wearable technology is causing a bit of a buzz around the world right now. From smart watches and health bands to smart hoodies and remote control rings, wearable tech is set to become a huge market over the next 5 years.
Many of the items may be seen as nothing more than gadgets and gimmicks but with Pivothead’s HD action camera glasses, I can see a real benefit for anglers who add this as part of their fishing accessory kit.
I like many jumped on the Go Pro band wagon a couple of years back. I bought pretty much every accessory going including the LCD screen, remote control and a variety of mounting devices. I even managed to adapt one of my existing tripods so that I could use my Go Pro with that too.
But there lay the problem. I took all of my new Go Pro kit, along with my river roving fishing kit with the idea of shooting an “on the bank” video on roving for chub in small streams.
I first used the car mount do do a short clip of me arriving at the venue, followed by the chest mount as I was walking to my swim and then the tripod for some shots of my swim and my rod waiting for a bite. In the end, when I finally did hook a fish, because the camera was still on the tripod, it missed most of the action.
In the end I gave up on the project and just went back to fishing.
When I first saw a set of Pivothead glasses, I did view them with a bit of skepticism. ”Do I really need these?” was my fist question and “are they better than any other similar products out there on the market?”
I would say that apart from at night and on really grey dark days, 90% of the time, when fishing I were a pair of polarized sunglasses. They have the obvious benefit of being able to cut the glare from the water, making fish spotting easier, but they also create a level of safety from flying rigs and sudden hook pulls. In fact, if fly fishing, I’ll wear them in pretty much all conditions. So in essence, the Pivotheads are already giving me something I wear most of the time.
Now I wouldn’t class myself as a “tackle tart” but having learned from bitter experience that cheap polarised glasses are often next to useless, I’ve paid £150 + for a pair in the past. So with the Pivothead HD action camera glasses retailing for around £179, as long as they stood up to the test in terms of quality and usability, I thought that they were at least worth a look.
Here’s what I found when putting them through their paces:
The Pivothead glasses are surprisingly comfortable. The don’t weigh nearly as much as I thought and apart from slightly wider arms in the middle section, there was not much difference between the Pivotheads and a regular set of polarized fishing glasses.
They also come in a couple of different styles, one of which has a camo coloured option.
I’m not sure I’d ultimately settle for the camo version but as much of Pivotheads success in the USA has come from the Angling market, they have at least put this option as part of the range.
The polarized lenses don’t come as standard (unless bought as a package) but you do get the choice of a number of colours including ice blue and smoked grey. I went for the smoked grey and they looked pretty good. Looking good is one thing but how did they stack up? I was really pleased with how they worked. I went to the River Avon, the Stour and also a couple of local pits and they stacked up pretty well against anything I already own, so for this part of the test, I’m happy to give them the thumbs up.
One of the great things about the Pivothead camera is how easy it is to use. The camera lens itself is fitted right in the centre between both lenses, meaning it is targeting exactly what you are looking at.
Then using a simple pivot switch, you simply click forward to start and stop recording video, or backwards to shoot stills, time lapse or bursts.
It boasts full 1080p at 30fps and the stills are shot at 8MP, which is perfectly acceptable for what I would want to use them for. The memory is built into the glasses, so there is no need for messing about with SD cards and there is sufficient memory to give you around an hour of full HD video. The glasses charge from any USB charger, power bank or PC and come with USB cable.
However what sets this product miles apart from it’s competition, is the free App that you can download to accompany the product. Once you get used to using it, you have complete control over your video and picture settings, in just a few clicks.
The Pivothead App is available for IOS, Android and Windows. With a PC, laptop or Android device, the USB cable provided will suffice but with Apple products, you will need to get a camera cable.
Once you have downloaded the app and connected your Pivotheads, you now have complete control. You can set the video resolution, lighting options, exposure modes and even focus modes. You can have auto focus, fixed focus and even macro mode, allowing you to cater for all situations.
You can switch from single shot to burst more or even time lapse and you can adjust those settings to get exactly what you want. There is even a white balance setting for you to adjust the video camera according to the weather, something extremely useful, particularly in the UK where our weather can change completely from one day to the next. You can also change settings using the pivot switch if you need to but trust me, the app is the way forward, it makes life so much easier.
Are the Pivothead HD Camera glasses going to be part of my permanent fishing accessory kit? You bet your life they are.
While it took me a little while to get used to the whole “what you see is what you shoot” side of things, I absolutely love these glasses.
Once you have configured them through the app, you’re totally free just to fish and then when you want to record, it’s a single touch of a button.
I’m going to wear a set of polarised glasses anyway, so Pivothead is giving me something I’ll already be wearing, coupled with the benefit of a full HD camera. The thought that has been put into not just the glasses but the app is second to none and for me, puts this product in a league of its own.
Pivothead have now also launched their Smart version of the glasses. These bad boys can stream your video live to your mobile device and again come with the option of the polarised lenses. Called The Smart Architect range, I’m not sure whether they are being stocked in the UK at the moment but you can buy direct from the Pivothead website.
They do weigh in at a cool $299 but again, for the technology they offer, this isn’t a ludicrous price when you stack it up against the Go Pro or similar devices. As we speak, I think the new Smart series is only available in black.