Sunday, June 10, 2012

Swivl: your personal cameraman – dream device

Swivl is your own personal cameraman. Its dock holds your mobile phone or video camera and tracks you as you move, using a little ‘marker’ device with a wireless microphone, which you can hold or hang around your neck. It will record video and audio from an iPhone or any light, video recording device that has a tripod screw. Like most brilliant devices, it’s so simple you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself.
Follows you
You hold a ‘marker’ and the device follows the marker as you move. This is great as you can point the marker towards a screen, object, colleague and the camera will follow. It will pan through a full 360 degrees and also tilt +10 degrees, -20 degrees. Its wireless microphone is in the marker and is transmitted back to the base and fed into your mounted device. You can also start and stop the video with the button on the marker. With a range of around 10 metres, it is more than adequate and will work with batteries (4-6 hours on 2 AA batteries) but also with an AC adapter. This video really brings it to life.
10 practical uses in learning
This is a dream device for education and training as it has so many potential uses. Here’s just 10. I’d welcome more suggestions:
  1. Lecture capture - it not only follows the lecturer but will go to the screen if the lecturer holds the device in their hand and points
  2. Flip videos – capture flipped classroom lessons for use by students at home
  3. Webcasts – give webcast lectures more naturally
  4. Interviews – if the chair holds the marker and points at whoever is speaking the Swivl will turn to the person that’s talking
  5. How to videos – great for capturing videos that show you how to do mechanical things, play an instrument and so on
  6. Virtual tours – want to show a room or environment, just walk around and point out the features
  7. Performance analysis – the camera will track you as a presenter, teacher, interviewer, for analysis
  8. Sports analysis - capture performance in sports, where movement is paramount, for analysis
  9. Arts capture – capture drama or any type of dynamic performance on stage
  10. Videoblogging – video your own blogs as there’s no need for a camera operator

This is a sweet device as it takes so much of the pain out of recording video. It tracks you, moves to shows the things you point at, wirelessly records audio and is small, portable and cheap. What’s not to like?


James A said...

First--thanks for the blog! Your series on learning theorists at last presents an improved alternative to the TIP database. And I enjoy your attention to the actual teaching/learning encounter.

Sorry to use the comments channel for this query, but I don't have your email address.

Have you any idea where I can get hold of this? Their web-site does not load (not even a 404 message). I can find it on, but nowhere in the UK.

Isee moderation is on, so you probably won't publish this--I wouldn't--so I'll include my email so you can get back to me: James(at)

Many thanks!

Vlad Tetelbaum said...

Hi Donald,

We have received a lot of feedback on Swivl, especially from educators. There were several key feedback items -- iPad support, rechargeable batteries, and Android support. So we have worked hard and are announcing a new version which will be available next year. Right now we are running it on Kickstarter to gather more feedback and support. Let me know if you'd like to get more on the story of Swivl and education.

Vlad (co-founder of Swivl)