HTC recently sent out invitations to an October 8th event which included the cryptic message “Double Exposure”. Double exposure is a term used in photography to describe the repeated exposure of a photographic plate or film to light, which can often produce “ghost images”. Subsequently, Bloomberg reported that we may soon see an HTC camera – no, not a camera embedded in a smartphone or tablet, an actual, stand-alone camera. Thanks to the popularity of the GoPro (a small, rugged camera designed for recording extreme situations and “action sports”) a relatively untapped niche has emerged. If Bloomberg’s source is accurate, HTC is poised to slide in beside GoPro, and diversify its product offering beyond what most see as exclusively smartphones and tablets.
Until we hear from HTC first-hand, consider most of what follows to be speculative. If reports are correct, this HTC camera will feature an ultra wide-angle lens with a 16 megapixel sensor in a tubular body. It’s designed to connect to both Android and iOS devices via Bluetooth and/or WiFi. A device like this would sit nicely on a helmet, and bike or motorcycle handlebars, and could give GoPro a run for it’s money.
That’s probably what HTC is hoping.
I’ve been a fan of HTC since the early days of Pocket PC and Windows Mobile, and have followed its rise in the Android and Windows Phone spaces in the years since.
HTC’s progression hasn’t been without stumbles. According to Bloomberg, HTC has forecast its 12th consecutive quarter of falling sales. There are only so many quarters a company can survive in that kind of slump before it’s either got to make some radical changes – or simply fade into the sunset.
One way a company can recover is by offering new products in new markets, either satisfying a need that’s not being met, or offering competition to a market held by only a few players. Should this report hold true, it looks like HTC may be using its vast experience in the consumer electronics market to bring a new, durable (dare we say “extreme”) camera to the market.
Could the invitation, which reads “double exposure”, mean that the new HTC camera will have two image sensors? Perhaps one for lighted situations and another for the infrared spectrum or some other night-view technology? While that’s certainly possible, rumors are hinting toward something else: “the ultimate selfie phone.”
This would mean HTC could be releasing two new cameras, one could be a smartphone built primarily for taking selfies, and the other one for action. This would make more sense with the wording on the invitation.
Do we really need another selfie phone? Do we need another GoPro. Looking on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I can see neither. I don’t think we specifically “need” either one of these. Perhaps that’s looking at things from the wrong perspective.
Although we, as consumers, don’t “need” either one of these devices, both would be beneficial for specific demographic groups. Maybe it’s not us that needs an HTC camera. Maybe it’s HTC that needs to sell them to us to help out with its bottom line.
Regardless of the perspective, I’m sure we’ll see some very interesting hardware come of out HTCs event!