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Spinpod rotates your smartphone when the panoramic urge strikes

By

June 9, 2013

The Spinpod motion control unit is currently vying for funding on Kickstarter

The Spinpod motion control unit is currently vying for funding on Kickstarter

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The continuous panorama function on digital cameras and smartphones can create stunning photographs in the right hands. But, to get that shot just right, those hands need to be steady. The Spinpod is a portable motion control unit which is designed to make creating panoramas easier, while removing the need for you to spin on the spot.

The Spinpod, which can also be used when shooting motion time-lapse videos, is currently vying for funding on Kickstarter. It's a small dock-like device which rotates to combine with the continuous panoramic function of your smartphone, to create a seamless panorama. Because it rotates smoothly and at a controlled pace, it means no more overlaps, lost pixels and disruptive seams which can plague handheld panoramas.

Its 2.5 x 0.5 inch (64 x 13 mm) slot fits the Apple iPhone 4s/5 along with most Android phones, while a thumb-wheel is used to lock the phone in position. There are also adapters for holding smartphones horizontally, or using other small cameras. Once a device is in position, users control the Spinpod via its capacitive touch buttons and LED indicators with a series of presses and swipes.

A panorama shot using the Spinpod
A group shot taken using the Spinpod

Panoramic mode includes the option to delay the rotation by 5, 10, or 15 seconds. This could be particularly useful if you want to shoot panoramic selfies, or put the Spinpod in the middle of a table to capture an otherwise uncapturable group shot. In time-lapse mode users can set the device to turn (in tiny rotational steps of 0.05 degrees) at 0.5, 1, 2, 5, or 10 second intervals. The battery is said to be good for 10 hours of panoramic use, or 100 hours time-lapse shooting. It can be recharged via micro USB.

A threaded insert on the Spinpod base means it can be attached to a standard tripod, but it can just as easily be used on any number of surfaces, or even in the palm of a hand. An included mounting adapter lets you use cameras with a tripod hole, and a landscape mount can be used to attach your phone horizontally, which could be handy for time-lapse videos. While makers say the Spinpod is capable of handling a lighter weight DSLR, users are advised to stick to smartphones, or compact cameras.

Users control the Spinpod via its capacitive touch buttons and LED indicators with a serie...

Another clever feature, is the ability to use multiple Spinpods (which can be attached with an L-bracket) to shoot pan and tilt time-lapse videos. The device can also be used as a passive sound amplifier for your iPhone and act as a dock for listening to music or making video calls.

If Kickstarter funding is successful, the Spinpod should start shipping in October. A pledge of US$59 will put you in line for one with a mounting adapter and micro USB cable, while upping the pledge to $74 adds a landscape mount. This being Kickstarter, various other options are also available.

Here's the Kickstarter video showing off the Spinpod.

Source: Spinpod, via Kickstarter

About the Author
Simon Crisp Simon is a journalist and photographer who has spent the last ten years working for national UK newspapers - but has never hacked a mobile phone - and specializes in writing about weird products and photography technology. When not writing for Gizmag, Simon is often found playing with LEGO and drinking far too much coffee.   All articles by Simon Crisp
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