Why you should care

Once a moment is gone, it’s gone forever, right? Not if you’re wearing one of these. 

Have you ever wondered: If only there were a way that moment that just happened — your child’s first word, that crazy thing your friend said, what that cop barked when he pulled you over — could be recorded? Turns out, many others have, too. Buoyed by a successful round of crowdfunding, the answer may be a $99 chunk of plastic and silicon.

Kapture, available as a wristband (included in the $99 preorder price) or as a clip-on (using a $15 optional accessory), constantly records the last 60 seconds of the sounds that surround you. With a single tap, you can send that just-heard moment to your smartphone for safekeeping.

The device, whose body was made to resemble a vintage, 1950s-style microphone grill, lets you attach notes to a 60-second audio file.

Founder Mike Sarow says that Kapture is great for capturing the words of kids who “rarely say the same thing the exact same way” and when it’s difficult to stand ready with a recording device. Kapture is also ideal for creative types, such as musicians, who find themselves constantly reaching for their phones to make notes about what inspires them, Sarow says. The device, whose body was made to resemble a vintage, 1950s-style microphone grill, lets composers attach those notes to a 60-second audio file.

Of course the ever-listening device could also be used for less noble purposes like, say, capturing an overheard conversation or confession or other bits of dialogue not intended for recording. Which brings us to a potential downside of using Kapture — a legal one. In some states (and even some countries), it’s illegal to record someone without his or her knowledge. Given that Kapture is technically always recording — even though it doesn’t save what it hears until you ask it to — it can be a gray area. “We instruct our consumers to always inform and educate when they Kapture a conversation,” says Sarow.

But that may not be enough. Ken Padowitz, a criminal defense lawyer based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, warns that simply wearing one of these devices could constitute a crime, as it’s constantly recording “without the notice and consent many state laws require before audiotaping someone speaking.” He adds: “Failure to save evidence of a criminal law violation does not alter the fact of the violation itself.”

So, if you’re reasonably confident that wearing a Kapture doesn’t break any of your local laws, it might be the best way yet to preserve those precious moments in time. Of course, if it becomes popular enough, we might all have to watch what we say a bit more closely or risk becoming Kaptured ourselves.

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