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MirrorCase – the covert (pervert?) photography accessory for iPhone 4/4S

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December 19, 2012

MirrorCase for iPhone 4/4S

MirrorCase for iPhone 4/4S

Image Gallery (7 images)

OK, so here's the imaginary mental conversation I'm having with the developer of the Mirrorcase for iPhone. Please read it in the style of Clarke and Dawe's brilliant "The Front Fell Off" sketch:

Me: So describe the product.

Him (and for some reason I'm almost certain it's a him): In essence, it's a protective case for your phone, but it has an extension with an angled mirror that lets you shoot photos without aiming the back of the phone at people.

Me: Does it fit in your pocket?

Him: Sure, if you have big pockets and the right sized hole in your leg. It comes with its own software too, so you can put another photo from your camera roll on the screen and shoot photo or video in stealth mode!

Me: So it's for perverts.

Him: No! It's for regular family types. Look at this! (Holds phone in front of face) See? My phone is coming between me and my life! Now look at this! (Holds phone like a flashlight) Now I'm free to enjoy the moment AND capture it forever!

Look at these sad, grey individuals holding their phones up like idiots. NOW LOOK AT MEEEE...

Me: So how do you know you're getting the right shot?

Him: Well you look down at the screen here.

Me: And how is this different from holding your phone up and looking at the back of it, again?

Him: Well, you look like you're doing something else. Especially when you put another image on it as a "Privacy Screen."

Me: And why would you want to do that?

Him: Well, some people don't like having photos taken of them.

Me: Like hot girls in front of you in the McDonalds queue?

Him: No!

Me: Or hot girls going up the stairs in front of you?

Him: No, not like that at all! It's for the Instagram generation! People who want to document their life in photos!

Me: Crappy mobile phone photos of things they don't want people to know they're taking photos of.

Him: Exactly! Have you heard of the Observer Effect in physics? It says you can't observe a situation without changing it. Anyone with a camera knows what that's like! As soon as you hold the camera up, people behave differently!

Me: Like how?

Him: Well, sometimes they slap you.

Me: Thanks for talking with us.

If the MirrorCase sounds like your kind of thing, then don your yellow plastic raincoat and head over to the RHP Multimedia website, where it's available for US$49.95. Better buy quick if you want it in time for Christmas!

Perhaps I'm just a damaged individual – but I can't think why else you'd want one of these. And we all know it's not cool – even the famously permissive Reddit community banned the r/creepshots subreddit that encouraged perverts to take covert snaps of girls at the gym, in the street or at the beach.

If you believe this is anything but a creepshots machine, feel free to try to convince me in the comments section below.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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18 Comments

Honestly, can't argue with you. I live in Japan, the creepshot capital of the world. They're gonna love this over here.

Daniel Moreno
19th December, 2012 @ 10:45 pm PST

The perverts camera is not in anything as obvious as a iPhone.

Slowburn
19th December, 2012 @ 10:52 pm PST

While I agree its a great pervert tool I would find it very useful. Most people I know here in the Philippines love having their picture taken so when you point a camera they either pose or are immediately joined by everyone nearby running to get in the picture.

My best pictures are mostly those I take covertly.

Skywoolf
20th December, 2012 @ 01:28 am PST

Of course this Pervert thing reads very funny. On the other hand: If you look into the history of photography, you will notice that some of the most iconic cameras require a view from the top for ordinary shooting. A classic Hasselblad 500C, a Rolleiflex and many other professional studio cameras come standard equipped with a waistlevel finder, while an eyelevel pentaprism finder is a bulky, yet expensive option. Shooting images in that way (i.e. looking not into the direction of the target but looking onto your camera) has three advantages: First, as you mentioned, unobtrousiveness (the pervert thing), second, help for shots at distances very low above the ground, which normally would require you to lie flat on your belly in the mud, and third (this may sound strange for those who never worked with a wastlevel finder) better control over the image composition. If you look into your camera from the top, things like an inclining horizont spot your eye far better than with eyelevel finders. For sure there is a reason why famous portrait photographers like Helmut Newton loved to work with waistlevel finders, and the models for sure knew that Hemut was watching them.

In order to be truly helpful, however, the device described above lacks one thing: One should be able to turn the mirror by 90 degrees in order to enable the camera to shoot in landscape mode if required.

Frank Kemper
20th December, 2012 @ 02:03 am PST

In the past when people in foreign lands were photographed by explorers, they believed that their souls were being captured.This belief still endures, obviously. People really don't like unknown photographers capturing their image. In the same way we don't like surveillance cameras capturing our image, but in the interests of 'security', we all have to put up with it.

I just read a case of somebody who was taking photographs in the street and was approached by the police and asked what he was up to. In England there is no law against taking photographs in the street, but that still doesn't stop the police (I think they are not actually aware of the law governing this).

The governments of the World have put everybody in fear of terrorism. The chances of anything happening are probably much less than getting run over by a bus, but never mind eh?

windykites1
20th December, 2012 @ 06:28 am PST

does this fit the Ipod5 Touch ?

Vance Taylor
20th December, 2012 @ 07:39 am PST

Rather bulky compared to the HiLoLens at http://www.hilolens.com/

John Foster
20th December, 2012 @ 08:58 am PST

Well, Mr. Blain, I bought 9 of these MirrorCase items for my boat surveyors. When they are crawling around the bowels of a boat doing engine and equipment surveys, the use of a cumbersome camera elicits a few nautical words not fit for human consumption.

When I showed them the pictures of this product, not a single one of them thought "pervert" product. To a man, they said buy it!

So, I guess that it takes a pervert to see a pervert!

freedomsailor
20th December, 2012 @ 09:01 am PST

As hardware this seems pretty useful (in agreement with the comment above about angles on cameras)... but the software stealth mode? I think it's still pretty obvious when someone is taking a picture with this, and that's frankly a good thing.

That said, I long ago disabled the camera shutter sound on my phone - no use telling people -exactly- when I am taking a picture, or destroying the ambiance with annoying camera usage.

Charles Bosse
20th December, 2012 @ 10:22 am PST

Well said Freedomsailor! I thought of it for chimney inspections to quickly show customers the upper and lower ends of their chimneys, possibly avoiding the expense of a video scan. Seems like home inspectors in many professions would find it useful. Then I thought about it for surreptitiously observing government infractions...undoubtedly that's perversion in Jack Boot's collective mind. But the Hi-Lo Lens http://www.gizmag.com/hilo-right-angle-iphone-ipad-lens/24684/ would be my choice for general use.

dwainez
20th December, 2012 @ 02:45 pm PST

Yes, I think the pervert aspect was much overdone.

The Mirrorcase might also make a good in-car camera. Just place it on your dashboard while driving, facing forward, to pick up all the idiots on the road.

Wombat56
20th December, 2012 @ 04:33 pm PST

I actually looked for something like this recently for my android phone - I wanted to mount it on the handlebars of my bike facing up for navigation etc but thought it would be great if I could still use it as a 'dashcam' or take a quick photo occasionally. (I use the phone for navigation/dashcam duties in my car already.)

Chris__
20th December, 2012 @ 05:45 pm PST

The doubleplus uncreepy(tm) feature (uncreepy featurism?) I can imagine for this is something I've been annoyed about for a while with smartphones.

They all have the camera sticking out along the Z axis. There's no way to stand the phone up without a large, otherwise nonfunctional accessory. You can't stand a phone up to take timed pictures safely, especially with one made of glass on a stone table. So all your friends are in the shot but you!

Ordinary cameras all have a bottom bit you can put the camera down on. The bottom of a smartphone is where the camera sticks out.

Perhaps some manufacturer will start doing an "edge camera". The cameras themselves aren't that dear, you could have several in a phone.

sleat
20th December, 2012 @ 06:37 pm PST

One benefit of the Mirrorcase over the HiLo lens is that it is a case. To use the HiLo the case needs to be removed. I wonder how well/if the flash works with each.

Bruce H. Anderson
21st December, 2012 @ 07:51 am PST

My friend's 4-year-old hates having his picture taken. Now you could argue that it's his right to refuse to be photographed or require the photographer to delete any photo he has caught him taking. On the other hand, he's cute and he's 4.

I'm not saying that there might be other uses and other motivations, but it's not a bad idea for kids.

Also, I met someone who has published a book of iPhone street photography based on taking legal and appropriate (not, for example, "upskirt") photographs of people who aren't aware that they are being photographed. Again, you could argue that he shouldn't do that, but it's in fact legal, and I would argue acceptable, to take pictures of people who are in public places where they don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

So I'm not going to accuse the author of having a dirty mind (I would expect he does, but how would that distinguish him from anyone else?), but I am going to agree that his approach to this topic is aimed more at being amusing or even a little shocking rather than being informative, and providing more useful info and technical details.

Steven Clifford Cohen
21st December, 2012 @ 09:27 am PST

I think you're missing the obvious use for this, which is to take better photos of yourself without the camera flash covering your face or using the lower quality facing camera which only is good for a head shot.

Now guys can take full pictures of themselves from something other than eye level. Now the camera flash can come bursting from their crotch... Damn it! so close (to not being perverted).

William M. Rawls
21st December, 2012 @ 02:29 pm PST

Old hat, Kodac brownie box was the same thing but not as thin.

pointyup
5th January, 2013 @ 10:54 pm PST

First I just want to say Thank You to the author of the story and all of the others who took a few moments to leave a comment on his story. You have made me laugh and put a smile on face!!! That is a rare thing to happen these days coming from the general population it seems!! And WOW!! I guess I'm gonna show my age now but I actually remember the Kodac Brownie camera, my mother gave me one for my birthday when I was 8! I keep telling my children they would not know what to think if they had to go back in time!!!! :-)

Jamie Williams
9th March, 2013 @ 07:47 am PST
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