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The SatuGO digital camera. Courtesy of SatuGO, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. SatuGO: The throwable (!) camera concept
(Monday, February 12, 2007 - 17:17 EST)

Working the Imaging Resource news desk, we've seen some pretty unusual product ideas over the years - but a new concept dubbed "SatuGO" has to rate amongst the more creative.

SatuGO - the name being a contraction of "See Aim Throw captUre & GO" - is planned as a three megapixel digital camera mounted inside a 2.5" ball-shaped plastic and rubber casing. Able to be used either as a USB tethered web camera or as a standalone device with 1GB of built-in memory, the SatuGO can capture photos in a number of ways, a couple of which involve throwing the camera in the air (or at an object). The device also recharges via the USB connection, with a built-in battery joining the built-in memory in ensuring the least complexity possible (and hence presumably, the best chance of ensuring the device's reliability).

The SatuGO can capture an image when it hits an object, as detected courtesy of a built-in acceleration sensor. Simply throw it, and you presumably get an image of whatever the ball happened to be facing as it bounced. SatuGO can also capture images with a self-timer - programmed by tapping the device in a specific manner. This could allow you to throw the ball in the air and capture an image - perhaps looking down at the photographer. (SatuGO's website offers a photo suggesting you throw the ball at a passing bird to get a picture of it, but we'd imagine this would be just as hard as it sounds to manage out in the real world!) The use of a self-timer is a bit curious though, as it would seem to make sense to use the acceleration sensor to detect a change in direction, then capture the photo immediately (hence taking the photo at the camera's apogee).

These modes, while potentially fun, don't sound particularly useful (unless you're the sporting type, and might be able to learn to throw the ball in such a way as to face the direction you desire!). A final non-tethered shooting mode sounds rather more useful though. SatuGO can be triggered by tugging on the cord that can be connected directly opposite the lens. This would allow the camera to be pointed in the direction you desire, and the tautened cord might provide a small degree of stability to help fight camera shake. (SatuGO's site states that the camera would use shutter speeds fast enough to freeze motion regardless, though).

All in all, it does look like a concept that could produce some fun, and perhaps occasionally a useful photo as well. ;) The designers - Eschel Jacobsen and Mads Ny Larsen - are currently seeking a manufacturing partner, and have suggested the device could be commercialised at a cost of around US$69.

Since the product doesn't actually exist yet, we'd imagine the few specifications provided would be subject to change. Should SatuGO ever make it to market, you can be sure to hear more on our news page...

The SatuGO digital camera. Courtesy of SatuGO, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

SatuGO: See Aim Throw captUre & GO

Help us realize this product.

What is SatuGO?
SatuGO is a combination of a bouncing ball and a camera with the purpose to make it more fun to take pictures. Throw the SatuGO camera and it takes a picture where it hits a surface, or set the timer and take pictures from far up in the air. Besides this SatuGO also has secondary functions such as webcam and mobile data storage. SatuGO is about the size of a normal tennis ball but where the tennis ball has air SatuGO has a 3 mega pixel camera.

Why should I have a SatuGO?
SatuGO is a fun alternative to the ordinary camera. The wish is to make the photographer an active part of the picture by throwing the camera into the motive. SatuGO is not intended to take "pretty" pictures, this is also why it doesn't have a screen, you have to get to a computer to see what you have captured.

How does it work?
You can take pictures with SatuGO by simply throwing it, when it hits a surface it takes a picture. SatuGO also has a built in timer and flash.
To activate either the flash or the timer, SatuGO has to be placed in the holder, now the user has to beat a specific rhythm on either the red or the black rubber part of the ball.
If the user chooses the timer he can punch seconds into it, the time chosen will be the interval for how often the camera will take a picture. When the camera is taken out of the holder the time starts.

To see the motives that have been captured, the SatuGO needs to be connected to a computer using the belt clip. The belt clip also works as a USB connector. SatuGOs internal battery is charged while pictures and data are transferred to the computer.

Where can SatuGO be used?
SatuGO can be used almost anywhere. It is very rugged and can handle bumps, hits and naturally also water. SatuGO is primarily thought as a fun alternative to normal cameras, with endless possibilities, e.g. if you are skiing, running, out diving, partying or if you just want to be at home and use SatuGO as your webcam.

Who buys a SatuGO?
The typical SatuGO user is a person that sees possibilities in everything he sees - a person that just has to capture the world from new and crazy perspectives.
The typical SatuGO user is a person that is not afraid to confront the world and see it from totally different and crazy perspectives; this could be everyone, from the skater on the street to the businessman, who really just is a big boy.

When can I buy my SatuGO?
SatuGO is still only a concept product!
Often it is very hard to get out with a totally new concept, because producers and investors run a big risk by investing in new ideas. We have tried to accommodate this by making a website with the purpose to gather the SatuGO customers already before SatuGO is set into production. The website works as a kind of public subscription with the purpose to make the commercial market possibilities visible to potential investors. Interested users can register on the website to be one of the first to be offered a SatuGO without being required to buy one, at the same time investors can see how many that are interested in buying a SatuGO camera.

Eschel Jacobsen Industriel Designer (MA)
Mads Ny Larsen Interaktions Designer (MA)

The SatuGO digital camera. Courtesy of SatuGO, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

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