Showing a bit of angle...
We've had a few queries on the wide-angle lens so here is a bit more info on our plans. Let us know what you think! On a separate note whilst writing this we have passed 600 pledgers which is just amazing! Thank you all so much.
Why would you want a wide-angle lens?
We wanted a bigger Vertical Field of View because we knew that in certain applications the standard VFOV of a smartphone camera (even when used in portrait) would not be quite enough. So the obvious solution was to pair the 'Pod with a wide-angle lens for a full on 360º x 125º image capture. There are a few good wide-angles on the market but frankly they are few and far between. A lot are rubbish and the good ones are recognised brands and carry the price tag. To get fantastic results we wanted to supply a good lens, specific to the BubblePod so that we could match our App to its specific characteristics. We did look at a number of 'off-the-shelf' lenses but all of the samples we put into the hands of our "Head of Glass and Shiny Bits" for testing got a heavy lip curl, a Northern look of disgust and some mumbling about chromatic aberration (something to do with different coloured light splitting up in the lens...) with appalling optical characteristics. Quite right too, that's what you get for working with perfectionist experts in their field! So we decided if we were going to do it, we would do it the way we always do. Properly. It's the same reason our BubbleScope has a glass mirror and optics rather than easy, cheap and poor quality plastic. That was tough to achieve at our price point I can tell you! So in short our wide-angle lens has our own custom optical design that has been specifically tailored to match the characteristics of smartphone lenses but allowing for the small variations you get between models. Critically there's no chromatic aberration (phew...) and distortion is minimal but because we know the speicifc characteristics of the lens optics, our App is also being tailored to work with it and reduce any optical distortion even further so you just get an image that looks right. Its the beauty of being able to control the whole package from end-to-end. Optics, App, Web viewer.
How does it connect and for which phones?
Our lens will attach in two ways to offer flexibility. We are designing a universal clip to allow it to be quickly and easily attached with any smartphone and it will be supplied with that clip as standard. It will also have a connector that matches our BubbleScope connector, so if you have a BubbleScope case for your smartphone you can just connect it using that instead. We won't be able to do cases for every phone though, so the universal connector clip allows our lens to be used with a wide variety of smartphones and also without removing some cases too.
A pro-pack (including our wide-angle lens and the BubblePod) would retail at around £50, but we would be looking for a pledge of around £15 on top of the BubblePod pledge of £20 to get it on the road.
The test Bubble on the link below was shot with our prototype lens which is has no anti-reflective coatings and is not as perfectly finished as a manufactured product would be. Still we're pretty happy with it and this was in pretty low light too!
Hope you like the idea as much as we do, we think it would be the icing on the cake!