We, at Beep Industries, would love your help to ‘bring the button back’ with a new product we’ve made called Red Pop – an iPhone 4 accessory that adds a big, red, juicy camera button to your phone and helps turn your iPhone into a 'proper' camera.
Why we made Red Pop
We are huge iPhone fans and love the iPhoneography culture that has grown around the product – so much so that, like many others, we’ve stopped carrying our digital cameras with us and now use our iPhones to capture and share photos of our everyday lives as well as big events like birthdays, bake-offs and baby Joe-Joe’s first steps.
However, the experience of using a camera phone isn’t perfect and snapping away isn't as easy or enjoyable as it could be.
It feels like something’s missing from the photo taking experience. As designers, it seemed to us that there was a simple solution to this problem - a button. Not just any button - a big, beautiful purpose built button. We love buttons - we think they're playful and inviting - they scream out 'c'mon press me.'
Red Pop brings that button back! The design is firmly rooted in the now but with a subtle, respectful nod to the beautiful and iconic cameras of the past. Made in brushed aluminum the design incorporates a tactile textured plastic grip overlayed onto the metal barrel, and of course a lovely big red shutter button.
Red Pop enhances the experience of taking photos on your iPhone and gives it the feeling of a 'proper' camera. And whilst Apple's recent announcement that in iOS5 (released in September 2011) the volume + button will act as a camera button will work for some people, we also know that there are lots of people out there who want the comfort, stability and joy of a product like Red Pop.
How it works
It's as simple as ‘Twist, Push, Pop’.
Just Twist the barrel, Push Red Pop on to your iPhone dock connector and start to Pop away taking pictures. Red Pop also allows you to shoot away like you would with a camera, with less downtime between shots.
The Red Pop app (which will be free and downloadable from the Apple app store) fires up as soon as you connect Red Pop and the images you take will go straight into your camera album ready to be Tweeted, posted on Facebook or shared via your favourite camera apps. We will be talking to app makers about integration with their apps and we already know we can integrate with Instagram.
Why is it called Red Pop?
The name pays homage to the father of Red Pop designer, Brendan Dawes. Brendan’s dad was a larger than life, red headed sports photographer called John Dawes.
Growing up Brendan was surrounded by cameras and the machinery of photography; crazily expensive lenses sat in the hallway, unexposed film stored in the fridge and of course the products of John's work hanging from the walls. Shots of Muhammed Ali, John McEnroe and the England Football team filled his childhood home.
His dad instilled in him the importance of capturing ‘the moment’ and that a split second could mean this moment was gone and the opportunity to tell an amazing story had been lost.
Red Pop celebrates everything that John Dawes believed photography should be about and we think it’s pretty cool that we’re able to put this project live on Kickstarter over a period of time that will include Father’s Day (19th June).
Where we’re at
We have been working on Red Pop for the last 12 months and are ready to push the button (see what we did there!?) on the first production run if we get backed on Kickstarter. We have a working prototype that has been developed within Apple’s MFI programme and we’re aiming to be delivering Red Pop into people’s hands at the beginning of September (sooner if we can).
The prototype shown in the Kickstarter video has a brushed aluminium finish but you can see from the images in the film that the final product design incorporates a gorgeous textured plastic grip overlayed onto the metal barrel.
Red Pop will come with a wrist strap and a nifty little protective pouch. We’ve also got designs for a whole bunch of accessories including cases and tripod stands.
To date we have entirely self-funded the development of Red Pop ourselves – from prototypes to patents - and we’re now hoping that the Kickstarter community will help get us to the point where we can press go,go,go on Red Pop manufacture. If we’re successful then we’re really looking forward to sharing our Red Pop journey with everyone who supports the project.
At the moment Red Pop has been created to work with iPhone 4. We’re ready and waiting for iPhone 5/iPhone 4G later this year and Red Pop is designed to be easily adapted for future iPhone versions as well as for other smartphones.
The team behind Red Pop
Red Pop has been created by the team at Beep Industries.
We design our own original products which we then make and sell; after-all there's no point in thinking this stuff up if people can't actually play with it! So far we've made MoviePeg, MIXA and of course now we are asking for your help to make Red Pop. Every single thing we make follows the Beep design ethos: simple and elegant objects that do one thing really well.
Lots of people have helped us in the development of Red Pop so far including our friend Aaron Draplin, the Portland based Graphic Design master, our friends at industrial design company called Meso, UK Circuits and Matt at Daylight who shot our Kickstarter film for us.
You can follow the Beep team at @beephq
We're currently further developing the Red Pop app and it will include integration with Instagram, allowing you to take a picture and then send it straight into the Instagram app with just a tap of a button. We're also in talks with various app developers including some of the biggest photography apps on the App Store to support Red Pop directly in their apps. We'll keep you posted when we have more news.
We have had lots of people asking us about this and the answer is yes it is something we are looking at. Obviously there are both design and cost implications of adding this feature so we just need to spend a bit of time on it over the next week or so. We will update when we make a decision.
Red Pop is designed to work on your 'naked' iPhone. However, we know lots of people use cases and covers so we're also working on a Red Pop case that we will work with the product both on and off your iPhone. We are also looking to talk to manufacturers who already offer cases that have a removable dock connector cover
We're making sure Red Pop fits tight on the iPhone so you won't have to worry about it falling off! We have a lovely design solution in place to create a perfect fit which we'll hopefully show in the next prototype iteration.
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