One of the more impressive aspects of the HTC One launch was its Zoe camera, which passively combines video clips and stills into a short presentation set to music. Zoe was inspired by the word ‘zoetrope’, a mechanism used to convey story or meaning through motion.
HTC’s interpretation of that concept takes users’ content and edits it together to form what appears to be a linear sequence of events. The Zoe Share website, which went up over the last few days, already has several user-submitted entries, glimpses of lives in both moving and static forms. One example, a group of girls at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, is largely ineffective at telling a tale; it is a merely a series of vanity shots interspersed with scenes of fish and macaroni. The music is all wrong; the edits jarring and wooden.
Another example, an 18th birthday party, is more focused, and captures meaningful moments set to a more engaging soundtrack. It was in this one I saw the great potential for Zoe, especially if HTC can bring this to a wider audience.
With a launch price of $149.99, the HTC One is going to be a hard sell against the Samsung Galaxy S IV, but features like Zoe, which connected with me before I’ve even had a chance to play with the device at home, speaks to how the company has grown in the past year.