The Mino makes a big splash

June 4, 2008 6:08:46 PM PDT
Any Oprah fan knows she has her favorite things and one of those things just got a lot smaller. It's a tiny video camera. The device is already a big hit on this, its very first day of release.

"I press the red button to start?" asked Kate Unterberger, who is one of the first to get her hands on the Flip Mino.

It's a tiny video camera that weighs only 3.3 ounces. It's light, portable, and it takes up to an hour of video. And when you're ready, the pop-out USB connector plugs into your computer for downloading.

"Oh, I definitely think it's the right size. You can just fit it in your pocket or purse or something like that. It'd be tough to carry something bigger," said Unterberger a tourist from Portland, Oregon.

ABC7's David Louie showed the Mino to a group of French tourists, who loved the chance to check it out.

The Mino is priced at $179.99. On its first day, it has already hit number one in the camera and photo section of Amazon.com.

"I think I will buy one," said Alex Bouche, a French tourist.
"And you can afford it because you're from France," said Louie.
"Exactly," said Bouche. "For me, it's $150, $140, so maybe I'll buy two!"

The Flip Video Mino 1 made by Pure Digital Technologies, headquartered in San Francisco. ABC7's parent company, Disney, is a small investor.

"To be fair to the company, there was a problem of operator error here. I sort of forgot to remove the protective film from the lens," said David Louie.

So, with the protective film removed, we took some fresh video at a Fisherman's Wharf crab stand. The camera is so small, nobody even noticed we were shooting the action and the video looks good on playback. It's 30 frames per second, VGA quality, with sound.

Anyone can use the Mino, but it's clearly aimed at young people, especially those who want to post videos on YouTube, MySpace or Facebook.

"There is a youth market that wants an on-ramp to the MySpace and the Facebook and the YouTubes of the world. They didn't have a ramp. They have the webcam, but they're stuck in their chair, and this is an audience, this is a group that doesn't want to be stuck in their chair," said Pure Digital's CEO, Jonathan Kaplan.

Pure Digital Technologies: www.puredigitalinc.com


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