Pivothead video glasses offer impressive quality, we go hands-on (sample video)

There's a new adventure video capture company in town, and both Zeyez and GoPro would have good reason to be afraid. You may not have heard of Pivothead -- the company has had a remarkably quiet push to market over the last few months -- but the video recording eyewear startup could very well become a household name after its first products hit the market this April for $349. Aurora, Durango, Moab and Recon may offer distinct exterior designs, but they're virtually identical under the hood. Each model includes an eight-megapixel Sony sensor (that reportedly captures higher quality images than the iPhone 4S cam), a four-element glass lens, 8GB of built-in storage, a 440mAh battery (with about an hour of shooting time) and three video modes: 1080/30p, 720/60p and 720/30p. We had a chance to go hands-on with Pivothead earlier today, and took the glasses for a spin on the streets of New York City. You'll find that sample video, along with our impressions, just past the break.

By design, Pivothead's camera lens is too large to blend completely into the glasses frame, though it's far more discrete (and comfortable to use) than the GoPro HD Hero2. It's mounted at a 90-degree angle, so you can expect to record whatever you're looking at, assuming your eyes are focused directly in front of you. There's built-in optical image stabilization, which will definitely come in handy for day and night captures alike. The frames feel quite solid, and they're stylish as well. We drew a few curious looks while walking around the office and down the street, though some models will surely jump out more than others. There's a micro-USB port for charging the glasses, downloading files and adjusting settings (Windows, Mac and Android apps will be available at launch). Since there's no wireless connectivity included with this iteration, you'll need to use OTG to make adjustments in Android. Most settings can be adjusted directly on the glasses as well, with a trio of LEDs providing feedback.

One Pivothead sample we tried had some trouble focusing and captured slightly noisy video indoors, but another version worked as described, and though we moved around a bit more violently than you'll probably want to while wearing video glasses, the picture looked very smooth. Company reps emphasized repeatedly that the version we saw today is a prototype, and it's not representative of final image quality -- though to be honest, we have few qualms with the video we were able to capture outside today. Pivothead was kind enough to let us post the sample video we shot -- a rarity when dealing with prototypes -- so scroll down a bit further to see for yourself. There's also a video walkthrough, including a look at both the hardware and the Windows interface. We're told that the first shipments will go out in April, but you can mark your spot in line by placing an order at the source link below.