About this project
What the media is saying about Spinpod -
"Capturing quality motion time-lapses and panoramas have long been feats reserved for the most adept photographers, but two Ph.D. candidates from the University of California, Los Angeles physics department are making the process available to all with a brand-new accessory." - Sean Fitz Gerald, Mashable
"... it would be really nice to see this device come to the real world." Chris Gampat, The Phoblographer
"Its job: help you stabilize the camera while you take a panoramic photo, or perhaps even a dynamic motion time-lapse video. " Eric Calouro, PetaPixel
"This is one we hope we get to test." - Erin Lodi, Digital Photography Review
"Still using that Ikea wind-up kitchen timer to take your time-lapse videos? Ditch it, because somebody has finally come up with a purpose-made iPhone motion rig that is cheap, fits in your pocket and can do double (triple?) duty." - Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac
"This is a great product for anyone looking to improve their mobile photography and create higher quality panorama or timelapse videos." - Anthony Thurston, slr lounge
"Spin it to Win It" Aaron Kraus, Technology Tell
The Spinpod is a patent pending slim motion control unit designed for iPhones, android phones, and cameras. It lets everyone, not just professionals and high end users, take seamless panoramic pictures and dynamic motion time-lapse videos. Our goal was to develop a device that was intuitive to use and affordable on almost any budget. Due to its small size and durability it can easily be taken everywhere including camping, hiking, to parties, or the beach.
The Dolly System is an add-on for the Spinpod which allows you to take linear and curved time-lapse videos. Since the weight of the camera sits directly over the dolly, it can support large DSLR's as well as iPhones, Androids, and other cameras. Included in the Dolly System is a table-top dolly, a ball head mount, and a Spinpod mount. The dolly shown in our prototype Dolly System is from iStabilizer. We are in the process of working with iStabilizer.com to supply us with very high quality dollies for our production version. No matter who ends up manufacturing our dolly you can be sure it will be of the highest quality.
With the included Spinpod mount, your Spinpod is easily mounted on top of one of the wheels of the dolly. The same mechanism that holds your phone in place for panoramic and rotational time-lapse photography doubles as a clamp to hold your Spinpod firmly against the dolly wheel. When the Spinpod rotates, the dolly moves... it is as simple as that. With 5 speed settings, you can record pretty much anything you can think of.
The aluminum Spinpod mount shown in the video and pictures is only a prototype. The production version will be CNC machined and black anodized. Check it out below!
The Dolly System is an add-on for all reward tiers. Just add $75 ($85 for international backers) to any reward tier to have the Dolly System included in your pledge.
In panoramic mode, the Spinpod continuously rotates while your phone constructs a panoramic picture. This works seamlessly with the built-in functionality of the iPhone’s camera app and is compatible with any other device capable of continuous panoramic photography. Most smart phones now come with continuous panoramic photography as a built in camera function but there are also many apps in the iPhone App Store and Google Play Shop that focus specifically on continuous panoramic photography.
With the 5, 10, and 15 second timer options you will now be able to take self-panoramas and never have to miss out on group photos because you are stuck behind the camera. The Spinpod blinks and beeps as the timer counts down to let you know when it will start taking the panoramic picture.
The Spinpod moves so you don’t have to. And because it rotates near the axis of your camera it produces incredibly clean panoramas.
There is a huge difference between taking a panoramic picture with the Spinpod versus taking one without. Most notably, the top picture is seamless with no misalignment or black edges. You will also notice the horizontal range is larger when using the Spinpod. This is because the Spinpod rotates your phone at the perfect speed, not wasting pixels on mistakes or overlaps.
We encourage you to click on the above panoramas and zoom to their native resolution to truly see the difference.
In time-lapse mode, the Spinpod makes tiny rotational steps (~0.06 degrees/step) at a variety of time intervals set by the user. As the Spinpod slowly rotates, your phone or camera generates a motion time-lapse video by capturing video frames at very low rates. Due to the ever improving mobile handset technology, smart phones can now take high quality time-lapse videos which render within a few seconds after filming, allowing you to review the video right away.
You can also use a camera to take motion time-lapse videos with the Spinpod. Many cameras, like the GoPro, have built in time-lapse modes which take pictures at defined time intervals. You can also use an intervalometer to externally trigger your camera and generate time-lapse recordings. Check the first FAQ at the bottom of the page for weight limitations.
Pan + tilt
With two Spinpods and an L-bracket, you can produce engaging pan+tilt videos.
When you're not using your Spinpod to take pictures, it works great as a dock, for video chat, and as an iPhone passive sound amplifier. The dock is slightly wider than your phone causing your phone to angle upwards when not fully locked in place.
- The bottom of the Spinpod has a ¼-20 threaded insert for attaching to tripods, frames, and anything else used to mount cameras.
- The docking slot on the top of the Spinpod can fit phones up to 2.5 inches wide. This works great with the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, and most android phones with or without a case. We are including a mounting adapter with every Spinpod that locks into the slot of the Spinpod. This mounting adapter lets you attach cameras and landscape mounts.
- The landscape mount included in some reward tiers ($74, $145, $175) allows you to mount your phone horizontally. You can check out our preferred landscape mount over at iStabilizer.com. They produce the most reliable landscape mount we have found and we are working with them to likely supply landscape mounts to our backers. Unless you have a phone that is wider than 2.5 inches this accessory is not necessary for panoramic photography but it is useful if you want to take 16:9 HD panning time-lapse videos with your phone. If you decide you want to add a landscape mount to your pledge it is easy, just add $15. Also, you can pick up a landscape mount later on through Amazon and many other websites by searching for 'phone tripod mount'.
You will be able to choose between a black or white body and red, blue, black, or white trim. If we reach our first stretch goal we will add a 5th color to be picked by our backers.
Right now we have fully working 3D-printed Spinpods but 3D-printing is expensive and really isn't an option for large scale production. With your help we will be able to invest in injection mold tooling, resulting in a lower price and increased durability and consistency. This Kickstarter campaign will also allow us to order all the electronic components in bulk, making it possible to sell the Spinpod at only $59 which includes US shipping and tax when applicable.
The Spinpod was invented and funded up until now by just the two of us. We have not pursued any venture capital, angel investment, or other backing sources. We want the Spinpod to be made directly for the community that uses it and not have to be driven by profits or quarterly reports.
The design and test phase of the Spinpod is complete and all we need now is the backing of the amazing Kickstarter community to get them manufactured and shipped out. Thanks!!!
Add $25 or more to any tier to get a Spinpod t-shirt with your pledge.
All reward tiers already include US shipping and domestic tax when applicable.
Daniel Aharoni and Zhiping Chen are both finishing up their Ph.D.'s in the Physics department at UCLA. Daniel specializes in hardware development for neuroscience experiments. His work includes the design and implementation of photo-detectors, high speed microscopes, and virtual reality systems for animals. Zhiping's main interest is in understanding brain rhythms and their functional role across brain structures. His work focuses on data analysis and neural network simulation. He is also an avid photographer.
They have years of experience creating and implementing their own ideas and can't wait to see what all of you do with the Spinpod.
Risks and challenges
We currently have all components of the Spinpod (electronics, PCBs, mechanics, MCU code, design) finalized and have extensively discussed these components with our manufacturing partners to ensure the production process runs as smoothly as possible. Our 3D-printed prototypes were designed with injection mold design-rules in mind and we have worked closely with our injection mold manufacturing partner to make sure the production can be easily transferred from 3D-printing to injection molding. As for the electronics and printed circuit boards, the ones that will be in the final shipped version of the Spinpod will be identical to the ones we are using now. We have put our finalized prototypes through the wringer and they have come out with flying colors.
While we are confident we are in the best position possible to execute on our manufacturing and delivery plans, unforeseen challenges might arise during large scale production. For this reason, we plan to work with highly experienced and trusted manufacturing partners just a short car ride from our homes. This minimizes unforeseen problems while maximizing quality, allows us to quickly tackle any problems that do arise, and supports local business.
Our promise to you is we will do everything in our power to ship your Spinpod on or before the expected shipping date. The production and shipping process will be fully transparent and we will keep you informed and up to date on the progress of the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The weight limit is different depending on how the Spinpod is mounted. When mounted horizontally (panning) the Spinpod is capable of handling a lighter weight DSLR but it generally isn't practical. This is both due to its weight and size. When mounted vertically (tilting) the Spinpod can only handle a limited amount of weight. This is sufficient for smart phones and GoPro's without their water proof case.
We should mention that all of our tests have been done with our 3D printed prototypes. The production run of the Spinpod will be injection molded. This will definitely cut down on friction and should increase the weight capacity in both mounting orientations.
We will do some tests with actual weights and post the results in the FAQ section.
Some of our reward tiers ($74, $145, $175) include a landscape mount. This is because we want to make it as convenient as possible for our backers to get everything they might need with their Spinpod pledge. If you aren't sure you want or need a landscape mount don't worry, you can increase your pledge by $15 any time to include one or you can buy one later on through http://iStabilizer.com or on Amazon. The iStabilizer landscape mount has been our go-to mount for everything from iPhones to GoPros.
A GoPro tripod mount (http://gopro.com/camera-mounts/tripod-mount) is needed for mounting the GoPro on the Spinpod. You can buy this tripod mount from GoPro's official website or Amazon. You can also check out the 'mounting option' on our Kickstarter page for some instructions.
A friend of ours, Jessie Horowitz, is a great graphic artist and has a film production degree. She did our video, logo, and website. Check out more of her freelance work here: www.jbhdesignandfilm.com
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