often need a quick and easy way to record their class. Hiring a
cameraman to record can cost upwards of $25 an hour and leaving a camera
at the far end of a classroom can fail to capture detail or the dynamics
of a teacher. Enter the Swivl, a robotic tracking device for iOS
devices that its maker, Satarii, describes as a "personal cameraman."
founders Brian Lamb and Vlad Tetelbaum worked together for five years
doing product design before they decided to create the Swivl. Their
background shows in the device's tight, functional design, solid build,
and iconic neon green.
Swivl consists of a base that connects to an iOS device and an infrared
marker that the user can wear around his neck or clip to his pocket.
This marker allows the Swivl to track the wearer in a full 360 degree
panorama and tilt in a 30 degree range. I spent a few minutes attempting
to trick the device but it wasn’t easy fooled.
tested the Swivl out at Burlingame HS with math teacher Traci Kreppel.
It was easy to set up, although admittedly we thought we had a bum
machine before we realized the sleek device was backwards--doh! You can
see the results for yourself here. (This was recorded using a Flip
I had one wish, it would be that the Swivl eased in and out of its
camera pans slower instead of turning at one speed, which causes
footage to appear jittery at times.
summary, you won't see the Swivl standing in for Spielberg anytime soon
due to the nature of the devices it works with. However, it represents
the flow of a speaker extremely well and at $179, it can be a cost
saving solution for schools and educators looking to record their
classrooms. Not bad for a core two-man team!