Pointing a camera at someone and then having the camera follow that person around seems obvious in today’s highly automated world. No such product existed, so BYU MBA alumnus Rick Stout embarked on inventing such a device. Shortly thereafter Jigabot, a Lindon-based company, was born.
The first product developed by Jigabot was called the AIMe. It was a play on the words “aim me,” telling the customer that the product would aim the camera for them.
After doing market research, they changed the name to “Jigabot” followed by a number representing the weight of the camera it could support. For example, the Jigabot 5, which began shipping recently, supports a five-pound camera.
One of Jigabot’s first customers was a manager at Nike, Sam Strickling, who purchased the product early this year.
“Jigabot is a game changer! A flexible, extensible, and accurate solution to precision automated object tracking that is unparalleled,” Strickling said.
As with most entrepreneurial endeavors, getting to this point was not easy.
“Initially we wanted to provide a product for consumers, something people could use with their Smartphone or GoPro, to record themselves as they play sports, play with their kids or move around on a stage,” Stout said. “But the cost to build a high-quality consumer product was greater than most consumers were willing to pay, so we’ve focused on Hollywood filmmakers.”
In designing and building a product that supports bigger and heavier Hollywood-type cameras, Jigabot learned many valuable lessons.
“We made the decision to purchase our own manufacturing machines to be able to prototype our products more quickly,” Jigabot CEO Doug Edwards said.
Taking control of the manufacturing process helped Jigabot contain costs.
“Jigabot can manufacture our products at about one-fourth the cost that we were being quoted by overseas manufacturing companies,” Edwards said.
A consumer product, at a consumer price, may not be too far away due to the new discoveries the company learned while building a Hollywood-focused product.
“We’re excited to meet the needs of professional filmmakers and consumer videomakers,” said Paul Smart, a Jigabot investor. “Automated tracking tools that let an individual capture a live moment, without worrying about who will record it, is going to change the way we share the fun experiences in our lives.”