Paralenz, a new project by Danish design agency Moef, has broken a Kickstarter record, by obtaining a third of their funding in just the first 8 minutes of their crowdfunding campaign. Paralenz is a high-performing underwater camera especially designed for divers.
To be deep under the sea is like stepping into another mysterious, fantastical world. But human ingenuity has made it possible for us to explore this part of the globe, through the use of continuously improving technology.
Dedicated divers are willing to pay more for specialized cameras to help explore the depths of the sea, and that is what Paralenz is. This interest in this technology from hobbyists and professionals alike is clear from the success of their crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. In only the first 8 minutes of the campaign’s launch, they had reached 30% of their funding goal of 550,000 Danish kroner. After 10 hours, Paralenz had reached their goal.
If you believe the 873 who supported the campaign, it is clear that the market demand for Paralenz is proven.
Paralenz is for connoisseurs
Paralenz is not the first diver camera to hit the market. Arguably, GoPro cameras are the go-to cameras for use in various extreme supports. Paralenz is a niche product, catering only to serious divers that wish to go into the deepest and most difficult to reach parts of the ocean.
“Our target groups are specialists in different sports,” says co-founder and CSO Kristoffer Kelstrup Sabroe , in an interview with Trendsonline.
He goes on to explain that GoPro has developed a very good camera for the wider audience, but that the Paralenz is for more demanding athletes that have greater requirements for specialized features.
Made to withstand extremes
As the camera is meant for more extreme diving, it is usable up to 200 meters underwater, and can withstand being knocked hard into a rock face without being broken. The design is further strengthened by a cylindrical design, which means the camera can withstand greater pressure.
Although prototype for the camera was made with a 3D printer, the actual cameras are manufactured from a type of aluminum that is also used in space equipment.
Besides strength the design has a second purpose, says Kristoffer. Many of the existing cameras on the market requires an additional container to cope with pressure underwater after the 50 meters. This means that the camera will take up significantly more space and hence protrude more from the wearer’s body.
The Paralenz can be kept quite close to the body, which means it is especially useful for cave divers, who are often in very narrow surroundings. The designers also focused on user-friendliness specific to icy waters.
“When diving in more northern waters, where the water is cold, you often wear gloves. Therefore, we need cameras to be easy to operate with gloves, so you can work freely with it while you dive,” says Kristoffer.
The camera has a built-in depth gauge that stores depth while filming, which means that the camera can automatically adjust the light balance in photos according to the depth of the water.
“When diving down to a certain depth, the light is often green or blue,” says Kristoffer. “In many other cameras you have to put in physical filters, but our camera compensates by using a digital depth gauge.”
A-testers from 33 countries
Paralenz has not gone into production yet, but through funding the campaign they now have 200 alpha testers from 33 countries worldwide. The camera will be tested for one month in different water conditions to wipe out any “teething problems” with the actual production.
If all goes according to plan, campaign supporters will get their cameras in January, and it will be available in stores by mid-Spring 2017.