Flip video is portable, easy-to-use, and inexpensive, finding its place between a professional camera and a mobile phone.
now it’s very normal to take a mobile phone to shoot video. It has enough resolution, has anti shake, and can also shoot slow motion video with high frame rate. If it is equipped with a pan tilt, it is the most basic vlog equipment. However, for quite a long time, the title of “pocket camera” did not belong to mobile phones, but a brand called pure digital. Their flip video camera created a wave of pocket cameras. Kodak and Sony followed suit and once occupied 20% of the market share.
under the influence of this trend, jobs added a camera to the iPod Nano 5. According to some e-mails revealed in the recent US antitrust hearing, Google also discussed with pure digital to make flip video a Google brand camera, which almost became the first hardware of Google. But flip video’s actual fate was that it was acquired by Cisco, and it announced that it would stop production a few years later, which is really a pity.
although flip video no longer exists today, its concept has deeply influenced the later sports cameras and mobile phone cameras. Looking back at the products such as Osmo pocket and Google clips in Dajiang, flip video is also found in them.
the positioning of pure digital camera is portable, easy to operate and cheap. In the early stage, it cooperated with retail stores to sell the camera at a low price, which was only $20-30. After the customer used up the camera, they returned the device to the store, and then got the DVD stored in digital format. It’s a good idea. When I sold it, I found that some customers would crack the machine, get the digital file directly, or simply view it on the small screen, and the camera would be left behind. Obviously, this mode can’t continue.
in May 2007, pure digital officially changed the name of flip video. On the front of it is a 1.4-inch screen with recording keys, power keys, delete keys, play keys, as well as microphones and speakers. There’s a foldable USB plug on the side that can be plugged directly into the computer to transfer data, which is the name of flip video.
in September 2007, pure digital released the improved Flip Ultra, which is smaller and more fashionable than the original flip video, with a 2.0-inch screen, which can capture up to 2 hours of 720p video. Through two No. 5 batteries, when the camera is plugged into the computer, it will automatically charge the battery, greatly reducing the battery anxiety.
HDMI output is added on the side of it, which can be directly connected to the TV to watch videos and photos, and the supporting flipshare software can be used to manage files on the computer.
the product became the best-selling pocket camera on Amazon at the time, selling for $149.99. Its bottom can be connected with a tripod. Some people use octopus stabilizers to fix them on bicycles to take pictures, which is similar to the later sports cameras. Many people use them to take pictures of traveling and concerts.
when pure digital re released flip video in May 2007, YouTube was one of the important partners. Users can connect to the computer through the USB plug, edit the video with the built-in software, and then upload it to the YouTube website.
the popularity of pocket cameras has made traditional camera manufacturers extremely envious. Kodak and Sony have launched similar products in succession. Even Steve Jobs also specifically mentioned flip video and YouTube at the launch of the iPod Nano 5, and introduced cameras for them. This is also in line with the portable and cheap positioning of the iPod series.
pure digital is definitely one of the hottest hardware manufacturers in those years. It once thought about going public. Later, Cisco acquired it with $590 million in 2009. Although it was not so strong under the pressure of camera phones, it still had a place. Unfortunately, in 2011, Cisco announced its withdrawal from the consumer business and the flip video series was cancelled. In fact, this is more because Cisco’s to B gene is not in line with the flip video business, and the market environment is not the decisive factor.
now you can see some features of flip video. You can take it with you and take it out to shoot at any time. The simple operation, editing and uploading functions are similar to the current mobile phone shooting. If the pure digital brand can stay, it may launch a self portrait artifact like Casio, and will make a sports camera or even a smart phone. Unfortunately, this is the fate. There is no opportunity to come back. The concept of pocket camera has been inherited by the younger generation.