As a reviewer, companies regularly get in touch offering some interesting products. This one piqued my curiosity as the technology was intriguing: a gadget that holds your phone or camera and tracks your face in order to pan while vlogging or live streaming.
At just $29.99, the Follow by Edgee aims to give you your own personal cameraman when vlogging, using face detection to track your movements and using its motorized base to rotate accordingly. There’s no app or connectivity required (the unit has one button to switch it on and off), making it quite simple — albeit a little ingenious — in its functionality.
The unit ships with two supports: one that will grab a phone and another that will screw into the bottom of a camera, supporting a weight of up to 7 lbs (3.2 kg). There’s a quarter-inch thread on the bottom so that it can be attached to a tripod.
The second screws into the first, holding a phone, twisting to give the option of both vertical through to horizontal. There’s also the option to add a ring light to the system for an extra $11.
The unit is simple, rotating like a turntable, and using a small forward-facing camera to detect your face. There’s no connectivity, either with your phone or the internet, so it doesn’t introduce any security issues.
With a price of just $30, I wasn’t expecting studio-quality performance, and while the base unit has a little bit of weight to it (potentially added to keep it stable), the plastic throughout does not have a refined feel to it. The ring light that I received had something loose and rattling inside, and Edgee offered to send a replacement free of charge.
The low cost also means that the motor inside the unit, though quiet, is not the most powerful, nor is it the smoothest. Movements are functional, but there’s no gentle ramping or subtlety to the pan, and it can seem a little over-eager to follow you when you’d prefer it just to take things easy.
If you attach a camera rather than a phone, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you cannot attach a large lens, as it will block the unit’s camera, preventing it from seeing your face. Secondly, you need to be more than a meter from your camera: if you’re too close, your face will be too low for the Edgee Follow to pick you up. With the extra weight and size, movements have a little more judder.
With a range of up to 13 feet (4 meters), this is a fun and very affordable product for anyone who vlogs alone using a static camera but needs to move around a little in order to give demonstrations. It’s also not a bad choice if you need to add some interest to a presentation on Zoom or the like.
Who Is This For?
It’s not quite a serious tool, but it does have potential, and I’m intrigued to see what future iterations look like. If the twitching can be calmed down a touch and the quality of the motor improved, this could be a useful tool for solo content creators. For now, it's best suited to those who are looking to add a little more excitement when they're talking into their phone's video camera by not having to be tied to one spot.
I put a short clip on my Instagram Stories, and being involved in the fitness industry, a few people got in touch to ask how this thing works. Home fitness vloggers might find it useful, and for such a low price, it may be worth a punt as long as you're not expecting super-smooth results.
I've a vague idea of what happens on TikTok, and I'd imagine that if you're busting out some moves to WAP by Cardi B, the idea of not always having to dance on one spot might be of interest to a certain demographic. Hopefully, someone can let us know in the comments.
What I Liked
- Easy to set up
- USB-C charging
- No security risk as it operates without any connectivity
What I Didn't Like
- Motor is not smooth
- Sometimes too eager to track