Launch Box: Pure Digital's CVS One-Time-Use Video Camcorder

Published on .

What is it: Created by San Francisco-based Pure Digital Technologies, the palm-sized video camera can tape up to 20 minutes of footage. It has a viewfinder and just four buttons: on/off, record, playback and delete.

Price point: $29.95 for camera, $12.99 to develop. CVS returns video footage to customers via DVD.

Available: Now only in 1,400 CVS stores in the Northeast, although a national rollout to 4,500 stores is expected by the end of the month.

Sales: Hard to predict, but if disposable video cameras are only half as successful as disposable still cameras, it could be a new hit category. One-time use still cameras now account for almost 40% of the film volume in the U.S. with about 218 million units sold each year.

Marketing: Nothing planned yet, but expect more competitors-and more-marketing-if consumers start buying in a big way.

Reviewers' verdict: "A very cool product."

"I can only imagine that someday we'll be reading about some young hotshot kid who got the clever idea to make a festival-winning film with a bunch of disposable camcorders."

Extra buzz: The DVD comes with software that allows you to view and email video clips for free. And that's got people talking. There currently isn't an easy way to e-mail video shot on a "regular" camcorder. Some pundits even point to this problem as one reason for declining camcorder sales.

Sure to Appeal to: Vacationers who forgot their video cameras; Beach goers and mountain climbers who don't want to risk ruining an expensive camera; Parents on-the-go without their camcorder who need to capture the school play or big game; and anyone who doesn't shoot enough video each year to justify the $300-plus price tag of regular camcorders.

Copycat: None yet, but if successful, it's only a matter of time.

Most Popular
In this article: