The designers at Joby have invented a holder for iPods and iPhones that allows users to control the pan and tilt of the device. What this does is turn the phone into a remote webcam or camera that can be aimed by using another 'iDevice' or web browser. Joby is the company that designed flexible stands and tripods for cameras and other devices, such as the gorillapod, the flexible tripod for iPods and cameras.
On their Kickstarter page for the project, Joby describes some use cases they expect potential buyers to solve with the device. Videoconferencing is a given, as being able to swing around the camera to see anyone talking would be much better than one wide, distant shot of an entire conference room. Monitoring a child is another good idea, and I'll add that it could help with home security too. A less obvious application is as a stand for cinematographers needing a smooth panning or tilting shot for a homemade or independent movie.
The Galileo will be able to pan and tilt in 360 degrees. It will fit only iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and 4th generation iPod touch devices, but it can be controlled remotely with those same devices, a 2nd or 3rd generation iPad, or on a web browser. The device is fitted with a standard tripod screw, meaning it can be mounted onto a gorillapod or any other standard camera stand. Joby also promises to distribute a software developers kit (SDK) for the device, allowing coders to write their own apps for the device.
The Kickstarter for Galileo has already quadrupled its goal of $100,000, and the company expects the devices to be delivered sometime in June. The retail value for the Galileo is $129.95, but pledging $85 dollars or more to the kickstarter campaign will get you one. There are only 15 days left in the kickstarter campaign, so if you want one of these fascinating gadgets at the lower price, you'd better kick-in soon.
Below is the video accompanying the Kickstarter campaign, which makes me really want one of these. But I'm the type of person who get suspicious when an ad makes me want something badly. What do you think? Life-changing device or brilliant marketing? Let me know in the comments below.