top of page

OUR STORY

The tale of how the Uview came to be.

Once upon a time there was a young man named David who lived in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden. He, or rather I, had many hobbies and interests. Some of my favourite hobbies are mountain biking, hiking, skiing, climbing Via Ferrata, kayaking, Airsoft or paintball wars, and many other adrenaline activities. I love to travel and have visited over 70 countries. I also like to capture all of these adventures with my GoPro cameras. For a long time I wanted to be able to capture these activities from a third person view, like in a video game. I would, for example, put the selfie stick on my shoulder trying to get the camera horizontal, with mixed results.

 

Then one Thursday in March a couple of years ago, just before a bunch of friends and I were going skiing in Norway, I was working late at the office. I was thinking hard about how I could get this third person view angle I'd been dreaming about for so long. I wrote down my whole thought process, so it's kind of fun to read my brain dump in text now when the product has been developed greatly compared to then, and at the same time is fundamentally the same as the idea I had all those years ago.

 

I remember exactly how my thought process started, which was with some basic physics. If you want an object to be stable in space, you need to make sure it can't move in any of the three dimensions (up/down, left/right, backwards/forwards) or rotate around any of those axes. To achieve this, the object needs to be attached to something stable at three points, like with a tripod. A tripod won’t work if it has only two legs or only one leg. If a tripod only had one leg it would need to be dug into the ground to be stable. This is basically the equivalent of some alternative solutions on the market for the third person view camera angle; it uses one pole and a big plate that’s tightly attached to your body.

 

What I realised was that if I use three poles, two going from the hips and one from bellow the neck, this would be a more stable solution. A couple of minutes later I realised that a rope over the shoulders together with gravity could acts as the third leg, lifting up the system. I have Paracord rope at home as it is a hobby of mine to make things with it. Attach this to a backpack and you have a system that can easily be taken on and off. At first I considered poles in either wood, aluminium, plastic or pvc. I also thought it would be good if they looked good, since they would be visible, and that it would be great if they were foldable and portable. So, I thought what do I have at home that I can use? Oh yeah, my hiking poles! 

It turns out that using hiking poles was one of those somewhat random but lucky moves. Some people have asked me “Why hiking poles? Wouldn’t people rather use something else, like dedicated poles?” And after thinking about this a lot I’ve come to the conclusion that hiking poles are not only a great option, but the best option, in my opinion. Think about it. What qualities would you want in a pair of poles for a Uview system? They should be about 120-140 cm, and adjustable in length. They should be robust and durable, as well as lightweight and foldable to fit in your backpack. Preferably they should also have a comfortable grip for when using Quick Setup Mode, when you hold the poles in your hands. If it’s something you often bring along anyway, that would be great. Extra functions, as hiking poles and tent poles, are bonuses. Consequently, if I was to design dedicated Uview poles, they would probably be a mixture of two selfie sticks and a pair of hiking poles, but without the extra functionality of actually working as hiking poles. It therefore made total sense that instead of spending time developing such poles, I might as well take advantage of the fact that there already are many great options on the market. Plus for people who already own a pair of hiking poles, it would save them some money and would be more sustainable.

 

So, I have this idea in my head of how to attach all the parts together, the hiking poles, the Paracord rope and my GoPro Hero 3 Black, but it’s getting late this Thursday night, so I went to sleep when I got home. The next day after work I spent a couple of hours making the first prototype. Once finished, I struggled with getting it on. At this point I thought the poles needed to be against my back, so they wouldn’t push forward, thus I attached them to a belt with the wrist straps and tried to place them on my back. But luckily, they just slid of my back and just hung on the sides, which it turned out, worked perfectly fine. Alas, the first ever version of the Uview system was born. 

 

Two days later I tried it out in a secluded area in the ski slopes in Norway. After some trial and error, I got it to work pretty well. I still hadn’t figured out a good way to attach the hiking poles to the backpack, which is important, because I realised that the stability of the camera comes from a stable attachment of the poles to your hips. A stable but temporary solution came during the summer when I started using the inner tubes from road bike tires.


Over the next few years, we gradually improved the system, detail by detail. My brother Richard, and I, made a first CAD model which he 3D printed, and about 9 versions later we had it professionally made. This was then tested in the field for miles and miles. During a hike in Abisko, I started attaching the camera bag with the Uview Connector and GoPro to the front of the backpack, on the shoulder strap. I experimented with setting up the system without taking of my backpack, and at first it didn’t go that well. After breaking my hiking poles trying to press them past my huge backpack while attached to the hip belt, I figured out how to set up the system in a fast and easy way, by just holding the poles in my hands. If you’re hiking, you don’t really need your hands for anything else. 

 

At this point we had come far enough in the development to send in a patent application. Later, me and one of my other brothers, Thomas, designed a pole attachment system that should work with any backpack with a hip belt. 

 

During the development of the Uview system I also started contacting potential manufacturers and material producers. 

 

In April of 2021 I started dating Michelle. After a couple of dates, I showed her the Uview system, and she was sceptical at first. But after seeing the video it produced, she started to see the potential in it. She encouraged me to quit my job and pursue my own goals, bringing the Uview to the market. 

Consequently, I quit my job as a Sustainability Consultant at one of Sweden’s largest firms in July of 2022, to work full time at my own company. I took on one project to have some initial income to the company, but other than that I’ve worked full time with the Uview. Adding Grip Tubes and developing the Connector, design and make pole attachment system, applying for registration of the word Uview, filming and editing videos, building the website, organise packaging, logistics and shipping and many other small things. I’ve learned a lot in these last couple of months! Even if the Uview doesn’t sell, I’ve gained a lot of experience! 

 

That’s basically the story of how we got started. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the chat or send an email!

David Hill

Gothenburg

2023-01-02

bottom of page