A week past the due date of my third pregnancy, I emailed my husband at work with the link to Holiday Gift Guide suggesting the Flip video camera.
“We should get one,” I wrote. “So we can film the birth.”
My husband, never one to ever, ever, ever pass on new electronic gadget purchases, replied that he’d “swing by” Best Buy on his way home. Best Buy being about 20 miles out of his way but who cares.
That Flip camera? Awesome. Not just for capturing panting, sweaty me pushing out my son in the too-warm pool in our living room. It’s just a great little memory recorder. Which is why I’m surprised with this news:
Cisco — who bought Pure Digital Technologies, Flip’s parent company, a couple of years ago for $590 million bucks — is shutting the whole Flip camera enterprise down. Down!
In that corporate tech speak that basically means we don’t know how to make money off this awesome product, here’s what John Chambers, Cisco’s chief executive, wrote in a statement, as reported by The New York Times:
“As we move forward, our consumer efforts will focus on how we help our enterprise and service provider customers optimize and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network’s ability to deliver on those offerings.”
Translation please? Whatever he means, get your Flip now because they won’t make more.
Flips are easy to use — you just plug it into your computer and it holds your hand all the way from upload to film editing to picking out stills from all the footage. The sound is great. They automatically adjust the light. You can screw them into a tri-pod. All the software you need is right there on the camera. No muss, no fuss. You can give one to Nana and she figures it out in minutes. Great for Science Fair projects, summer entertainment for the kids. Heck, Carolyn made a web series using one of these little guys!
They’re better than a DVD player in the car on vacation.
“Mom, I’m bored.”
“Here! Just watch the Grand Canyon video from 15 minutes ago,” and they’re silent for hours.
Apparently Smart phones got wise to the service Flips provided and rendered the world’s greatest video cameras redundant. Smart phones — you’ve earned your name! You take even better video than the Flip and, well, you’re even more handy.
Ahhhh, progress. Sigh. Right, Cisco?