Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 6, 2013.

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A bright new way to take better photos. Carry this slim, wireless flash in your wallet and transform your photos with great light.

Our Kickstarter is over, but you can follow the journey at wantnova.com. If you want to order one or are looking to become a distributor, get in touch at hello@wantnova.com.

We all want better photos, so we can capture and share the moment exactly as we experienced it. For great photos you need the right light in the right place. That’s why we've created Nova, the light that your camera phone needs. 

Nova cleverly combines timeless photographic principles and modern technology to bring you a slim, separate, wireless flash with color temperature-adjustable light, for your camera phone. Slim enough to carry in your wallet, Nova is always with you to light up your world and transform your photos.  

How do you want to remember the moment? 

Nova adds soft, natural light so your photos are rich with color and depth, capturing the moment just as you remember it. 

A separate Bluetooth flash 

Your phone's built-in flash is right next to your camera lens which can cause those washed-out faces, red-eye and harsh shadows in our photos. Professional photographers know that for truly stunning shots, you need a flash that is not built-in or attached to your camera. Nova is totally wireless and separate from your phone; so you can instantly improve the quality of your photos by simply holding up the credit card sized flash. 

A wireless flash to unleash your creativity

As a wireless flash, Nova allows you to choose the distance, the direction and the angle from which you want the light to come. So go on, get creative with your light and capture dramatic shots with visible depth.

Temperature-adjustable white light

Soft light: lights up the person in your shot and their environment while reducing shadows
Warm light: provides natural shots with flattering skin tones, the way you want to look in portraits
Brilliant light: ensures no-one is lost in the dark.

Nova's warm light provides flattering portraits
Nova's warm light provides flattering portraits

Nova’s advanced mode lets you choose from a mix of soft to warm white and dim to bright light for super artistic shots. 

Ambient, diffused lighting for beautiful photos 

Nova has 40 points of light, gently diffused behind a white panel. This creates a flash that's gentle on the eyes and makes your friends look naturally gorgeous.

Always with you, ready for action 

As slim as your camera phone, extremely light and shaped like a credit card, Nova is small enough to fit in your wallet, ready to capture the moment whenever you need it. 

In control with the simple Nova app 

The free Nova app is quick and easy to use. Use the slider to pick soft, warm or bright lighting, then take the shot. 

Want more control? Switch to the advanced mode and select the point on the graph for your exact mix of cool to warm and dim to bright light.

How to use your Nova 

*See 'Supported Devices' section below.

Rewards  

Supported Devices

  • iPhone 5S, 5S, 5, 4S (running iOS 6, 7)
  • iPad 3, 4, Mini (running iOS 6, 7)
  • iPod Touch 5th gen (running iOS 6, 7)
  • Google Nexus 7, 2013 version (running Android 4.3)
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (running Android 4.3)
  • HTC One (running Android 4.3)

Nova in matching iPhone 5C colors 

Got an iPhone 5C? In addition to the standard black backed Nova, we're also offering Nova in colors to match the 5C. All Novas feature the white diffusion panel to provide soft ambient lighting, but the back is your playground. Color options are free! You don't have to do anything, we'll ask you for your preferred choice before shipping. We're psyched about the photography enhancements to both the new iPhones. And Nova is the perfect complement.

Why we need your help 

The Nova team see Kickstarter as just the beginning of an incredible journey. With your help, there's more to come. If we reach our funding goal the Nova prototype will receive some exciting upgrades before you receive it in February. 

Your help to reach our funding goal is critical to kickstart production of molds for Nova. We'll then be on our way to producing enough Novas for everyone. 

We’d also really like to hear what you want from your Nova. So don’t be shy: send us your feedback and we can build Nova together. 

And just one more thing: we need your help to spread the word, so make sure to tell all your friends about this little invention and its big impact on your photos. 

Thanks for being part of the team, backers. Onwards!

Bringing your Nova to life 

Nova's Evolution

The camera phone takes great pictures, it's light and always with us when we need it. Over time it became our camera of choice. But looking at shots of our kids taken using the flash, they all had the same rabbit-in-headlights quality. We realized that's unavoidable with a bright white flash built into the camera. Then we had an idea: if we could build a detached flash, with color temperature-adjustable light and keep it small enough that we'd still carry it in our pocket, everyone could experience a bright new way to take better camera phone photos. 

So we built one ...

Early prototype; handmade in Joe's basement.
Early prototype; handmade in Joe's basement.
We became obsessive about finding the right LEDs. Sunglasses were an essential accessory.
We became obsessive about finding the right LEDs. Sunglasses were an essential accessory.
The circuit evolved.
The circuit evolved.
Many revisions later, we had a fabricated circuit board we're happy with.
Many revisions later, we had a fabricated circuit board we're happy with.
We developed custom firmware that runs on the electronics to synchronize the flash with the camera.
We developed custom firmware that runs on the electronics to synchronize the flash with the camera.
And of course, an app to control Nova.
And of course, an app to control Nova.
We wanted a simple and beautiful enclosure.
We wanted a simple and beautiful enclosure.
Early prototypes were 3D printed using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Lasers are cool.
Early prototypes were 3D printed using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Lasers are cool.
Then polyurethane casting was used to create the version you see here.
Then polyurethane casting was used to create the version you see here.
Designed for your phone.
Designed for your phone.

Technical Specifications

We are still refining the product and specifications are subject to change before the final version. Values are approximations.

Open Source SDK

Are you a developer? No: Move along please, nothing to see here. Yes: Go on...

We're planning to release open source SDK libraries that allow you to communicate with Nova via the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol.

The SDKs will be available for iOS 5,6,7 and Android 4.3.

This will allow you integrate Nova into camera apps. Or try other things like using it as a morse code beacon.

More details on the SDK, including features, device requirements, and GitHub repositories are available on the Nova SDK site.

Nova In The Press

Who are we? 

Joe Walnes: Product design and engineering

Alex Lukashevich: Operations and manufacturing 

Jaimie Walnes: Marketing and communications

Derek G: Product usability 

Anne Petersen: Photographer and community manager

Joe Born: Hardware advisor

And we couldn't have got this far without the help of: Hannah Dobratz, Paul Detjen, Tyler Lagaly, Emma Bernsohn, Mahbubul Haque, Andrey Sazonov, Salman Mahmood, Megan Estrada, Mark Padolina, Flora Darby, Gilly Perry, Judit Lukashevich, Mary Calderwood, Zach 'Hoeken' Smith, Matt Mets, Roberto Meza, Laura Waite and the communities of Pumping Station One, Maker Business Group and Copyhackers.

Connect with Nova

Facebook: wantnova

Twitter: @want_nova

Google+: Nova

Instagram: wantnova

Email: hello@wantnova.com

Our Kickstarter is over, but you can follow the journey at wantnova.com. If you want to order one or are looking to become a distributor, get in touch at hello@wantnova.com.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Like you, we love backing Kickstarters. While most seem pretty smooth, we've all seen our share of issues. We wanted to be sure that we could really deliver this project before asking you to back us; so we decided not to launch on Kickstarter until we had completed the design, built a working product and found manufacturers.

We have a working product. Now we need to make improvements in order to scale up for mass manufacture.

When manufacturing physical products like this we're reliant on many factories and suppliers. We're confident that we can manage this process by partnering with a contract manufacturing firm that specializes in bringing products like ours to market. The firm we have chosen manages the complete supply chain and preempts any issues so we can deliver an excellent product to you.

FAQ

  • We are focusing on the newer Android handsets that support Bluetooth Low Energy.

    These devices work with Nova:
    * Samsung Galaxy S4
    * HTC One
    * Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition)

    As we test on more devices we will update this list.

    Note: Your device must be running Android 4.3 (or later) to support Nova. This upgrade is currently being rolled out across carriers as over the air updates.

    Last updated:
  • The awesome Paul Detjen at http://www.pcdproductions.com/. Word on the street is he'll fly anywhere you want to make you a video.

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  • Using a micro USB cable, which is included. You can charge it from a computer or USB phone charger.

    Last updated:
  • Technically yes, but if the LEDs are on continuously at full brightness it drains the battery quickly (anywhere between 2 and 30 minutes, depending on the brightness).

    For short videos it may be ok.

    In the upcoming weeks we'll be performing more testing on the battery - we will post an update with more detailed results.

    Last updated:
  • YES! We offer free international shipping to anywhere in the world. Seriously.

    Last updated:
  • Yes! It will work with iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad Mini.

    Last updated:
  • Yes! You can simultaneously flash up to 10 Novas from a single phone.

    Last updated:
  • Yes!

    Last updated:
  • Yes! The iPhone 5S is one awesome camera. It's built in True Tone flash is a great improvement over previous generations of iPhone flash.

    Nova goes beyond this. Taking the flash off-camera gives your photos more depth and avoids the "flat" look seen with on-camera flashes. And using 40 gently diffused LEDs results in a softer, more natural looking light for your photos.

    The iPhone 5S is one of the best pocket cameras available. It deserves the best light source to complement it.

    Last updated:
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    50 backers

    SUPPORTER: we'll send you juicy Nova updates to keep you up to speed.

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    ELECTRONICS ONLY: For the tinkerers. You'll get just the electronic internals, but not the enclosure. It's not pretty, but it's fully functional. Use it to create your own light box. Check the rewards section over to the left to see what you're getting.

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    EARLY BIRD NOVA for iPhone: at this level can you get one of the first Novas to be produced.

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    GET NOVA for Android: Your very own Nova for Android phones. See "supported devices" to check if your phone is supported.

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    GET NOVA for iPhone: your very own Nova. 'nuff said.

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    NOVA for Android + LEATHER NOVA CASE: You can use and charge your Nova in the case and when you're finished taking photos your precious Nova will be protected from the evils of the world. See "supported devices" to check if your phone is supported.

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    NOVA for iPhone + LEATHER NOVA CASE: you can use and charge your Nova in the case and when you're finished taking photos your precious Nova will be protected from the evils of the world.

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    IPHONEOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: your place is reserved in our Chicago iPhoneography workshop which will not only share how to get the most out of your Nova, but explore with you the very best in the field of iPhoneography, to be held after your Nova and Nova case has been produced and is in your hands. Travel expenses not included. Nova and Nova case is included at this pledge level and will be delivered to you in February 2014.

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