07
Apr
2012-04-07 18h06_27

Ever since we started calling camera phones "phones," we've been trying as hard as we can to replace as much of our prohibitively expensive camera equipment as we can. Our phones' sensors have been beefed up to "actually pretty good" quality, we've seen several different attachable lenses. Now, thanks to Kickstarter, we've also found the last camera mounting accessory we'll ever need: the Slingshot, which functions as handheld stabilizer, mini tripod, and professional tripod mount.

As with all Kickstarter products, this little device isn't for sale yet, but if anything deserves a shot at being a proper product, it's this little guy. The bulk of the magic happens in the cradle which, according to Charles Waugh, designer of the product, is flexible enough to hold phones of any size. He even says it's sturdy enough to hold the gargantuan Galaxy Note. Unfortunately, we don't get to see this feat, instead only seeing the product gripping an iPhone 4 and an HTC Incredible inside a case, but it holds on to both with an impressive grip, even upside down.

slingshotbig

The rest of the Slingshot, namely the handle, is a multipurpose tool. When you're taking mobile video with your mobile phone, the handle gives you control of the device with a single hand, leaving the other hand free to manipulate controls, or to simply reduce camera shake. If you just want to take a steady, up-close video, two small legs pop out of the handle and create a makeshift tiny tripod. The design is one of those ideas that's so clever, we're left to wonder why no one thought of it sooner.

Of course, a handle with a ball joint or a tiny plastic tripod is no replacement for your expensive professional tripod with all the bubble levels and gyroscopic doodads that keep everything level. The cradle, however, can be detached from the handle and screwed directly on to any tripod with a standard 1/4-20 mount (read: just about all of them), so you can have the best of both worlds if you'd like.

So far, the project is 43 days and about $15,000 away from reaching its goal. Donations that net you a free Slingshot if the project succeeds start at $14, which is not too shabby for a product like this. Check out the source link if you want in on this action. In the meantime, I'll be pawning off all this useless and expensive video and camera equipment I bought over the last five years because I'm a chump.

Source: Kickstarter

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Rits

    The first mobile accessory to have excited me after the wireless charging docks. Donating now!

  • GergS

    Could they make an attachment that hooks onto something in your dashboard? I'd love a completely generic mount.

    • Eric G

      You can use the Panavise 809 Camera Window Suction-Cup Mount.

  • Erik

    I was just thinking about developing this idea the other night.

    With digital photography becoming a major player in the world of multi-tasking smart phones, it was just a matter of time.

    For myself personally this is a tremendous idea, as there are times when I can't carry my Nikon around and a universal mount for my $100 tripod that could stabilize my phone as I take pictures with it is an invaluable tool

  • deX

    While this looks cool, I don't see how a single hand operation can be more stable than holding the phone steady with two hands. I mean, it's not like it has some spring and gyro loaded stabilizers..
    Personally, I would rather buy the 10x optical zoom + telephoto + fisheye + tripod kit for my SGS2.

  • watson387

    Wow that thing looks sweet! And for $14? A steal!

    • Guest

      > Wow that thing looks sweet! And for $14? A steal!

      You didn't read that correctly. It's NOT $14.

      > Donations that net you a free Slingshot if the project succeeds start at $14

      You have to give them a "donation" in hopes of raising money... in hopes they will ever actually MAKE this device... and you "maybe" will get one... *IF* the project even succeeds.

      Why not just wait until another company starts making them instead? I just need a device to hold my phone... NOT to "invest" in a new company that might someday make the device.

      • Christopher

        Do you know of any other companies making something similar to this? I don't.

        This guy had a good idea and I think small and new companies need a kickstart to get them going.

      • Jack

        The way Kickstarter works, they only take your money if the project goes ahead, so it is effectivly $14 for the slingshot.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

    With two hands, you have two entirely different sets of clumsily controlled finger sets working against each other to keep the camera in place. We're notoriously bad at making our limbs match movements. In fact, most humans favor one side of their body to the other, which means we don't even have even levels of muscle growth to perform such tasks. Matching both our arms' movements to each other is a hard enough task, let alone keeping the camera steady in reference to the ground.

    One hand won't be as stable as a tripod, but at least with one hand, the only thing that the camera needs to match movement with is the ground. Multiple legs on a tripod may make a camera more steady, but when the parts holding a camera can move on their own, the fewer moving parts the better.

    Also, if nothing else, having a hand free to tap on controls will reduce camera shake from trying to move your thumb to the shutter button while still maintaining a good grip on the phone. It's not a perfect solution by any means, but it should at least provide $14 worth of camera shake reduction.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/dextersgenius deX

      Thanks for the explanation, but I would still like to see just how much improvement this provides, v/s using just a single hand. Perhaps a video with an accelerometer/gyro graph that compares the Slingshot v/s one hand v/s two hands would convince me.

      It's not that I don't mind spending $14, it's just that I don't want to carry yet another accessory around that doesn't really help.

  • p51d007

    Smart phone cameras are getting better, in the point & shoot area, but, until they can replace the functionality of my dSLR, I don't think I'll give mine up just yet LOL.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Don't think that'll happen any time soon.

      • Guest

        Millions of people stopped lugging around huge/heavy/expensive cameras already.

        My cell phone can already take excellent, extremely sharp pictures far, far better than the old camera that I haven't used in years.

        • GraveUypo

          you're a domestic user, clearly.
          phone cameras are still just toys.
          they take OK vacation pictures, but they're nowhere NEAR suited for more serious work. they have close to zero functionality

  • http://talk3g.co.uk Hands0n

    An awesome product. I have been looking around at the meagre selection of tripod fitting smartphone holders like this and nothing gets even close to the demonstrated functionality. One that I did buy fitted a tiny selection of devices, iPhone, Galaxy S2, but nothing much else. And any cases had to be removed first.

    Looking forward to seeing this in the UK some time soon.

    • Hal Motley

      +1

      It would need some UK love before I would even consider!

  • Jay

    Man when i saw the article image and then read "the slingshot" it automatically made me think this was going to be a fuuny about slingshoting other peoples iphones into the distance! hahaaa

  • ChumbleSpuzz

    Seems to be a glut of phone mounts and stands on Kickstarter.

    I prefer the Capta (also a kickstarter project). But this would work for phones that have a surface that wont support the Capta well. How toes this handle extended batteries?

    AP coverage for Capta here: http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/10/26/upcoming-capta-is-a-multi-functional-accessory-that-brings-a-tripod-mount-to-your-smartphone/

  • Nicolas

    One more to pledge. would go real good in my car with my Manfrotto 241 (it's a bit overkill for a smartphone, though)

  • MikeGoff

    Nice, but Capta has my vote as the best universal phone support/mount. It too came through the ranks of kickstarter.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1689824368/capta-stick-it-lean-it-wrap-it-attach-it

  • fitable

    will fit sidekick 4G

  • someone755

    I love coming back here and laughing at this. xD