Every once in a while I review an item so preposterous I struggle with what to say. Enter the Follow, a phone mount that is said to use facial recognition to act as your own camera person. Does it work? Not exactly, but it does do a decent job for the price.
I currently live on Zoom. I’m on Zoom meetings 10 hours a day. My face stares back at itself way too much for the normal human being. I’m sure I’ll be in therapy for years after the pandemic dealing with it, but that’s a story for another time, or for Medium. The internet’s public journal.
Companies around the world want to jump on the video conferencing craze. We need more products for our home office to adjust to our new lifestyles. The new normal. When you’re not on Zoom (or other video conferencing apps) you’re probably busy teaching people how to workout on YouTube or making your parents do funky dances for likes and instant gratification on TikTok.
We depend on your phones more than ever before. What did the president tweet, what did Sarah eat for dinner, oh look at Josh breaking quarantine again. SHAME. Everything we do is being recorded. We want to look our best to please people we don’t know. For many of us still in lockdown we don’t have someone to shoot our content for us. We’re doing it Solo, like Beyonce.
We’ve all shot Martin Scorses level video only to realize we weren’t in frame. The horror. The SHAME. Follow is hoping to fix that problem and have developed a device you can use for video conferencing or for TikTok that will keep you in frame at all times.
Follow Is a phone mount that uses facial recognition to act as a personal cameraperson. All you have to do is mount your phone and shoot as normal and Follow will automatically detect your face. I can say it does work, kinda.
Unfortunately, it is very janky but you will no longer be out of frame, for the most part. It’s not always perfect. The device also came with a ring light but a piece is seemingly missing so I can’t have the ring light on when testing. My tests all had to be in the daylight and it shockingly does work with no extra app needed.
It’s nowhere near perfect but you can’t argue with the price. Coming in at only $39.99USD it’s cheap enough to buy to experiment with. You’re getting what you pay for here. It works and while I see no reason to use it on Zoom (I have a massive head, so my head is always in the frame no matter what I do) it does have its place if you want to use it for TikTok or workout videos.
What I do find remarkable about the device is I don’t need to connect it to either WiFi or Bluetooth. It also does not need it’s own app. You literally attach your phone to a tripod on the device, press the “on” button and away you go. Start shooting video like normal.
The microcamera inside the device promises to not store images. It keeps facial images in it’s temporary memory during use and the data is discarded immediately afterwards. I have no way of knowing if this is true or not and perhaps that’s why the device is so cheap. Perhaps my face is being studied and used for testing in China. I’ll just take the press release’s word for it, as I’ve learned in my years of receiving press releases, a press release would never lie.
The Follow is currently available for pre-order. If you have 40 bucks to burn and need something that is essentially a more technologically advanced egg timer than do it. It does what it says, just not very well.
It came, it saw, it followed me straight to the bin of tech I never use under the stairs.