Have you ever wondered how people make those timelapse videos where the view from the camera smoothly drifts from one point to another? These are done with a piece of gear called a motorized slider. They're generally large, unwieldy, and limited by unfriendly user controls. Enter Trek, a modular, motorized slider designed for smartphones, GoPros, and other lightweight cameras. It's app-controlled for easier use and more advanced routines than many other sliders.
The vision for Trek is a tool-less, modular design that breaks down into small pieces for easy storage in a backpack or bag for travel. Each section of track is only 1 foot long (~30 cm) and they connect to each other magnetically so everything snaps together quickly. Track segments are available both in straight and curved shapes, which allows for a configurable track of different lengths and shapes, and detachable feet are adjustable with rubberized feet for uneven terrain.
Trek's shuttle is controlled via Bluetooth with either Android or iOS. The app can be configured to run standard slider movements or switched into advanced mode to set up stop motion to support long exposures during nighttime shots. And as a clever addition, the shuttle includes a USB-C connection that can charge your phone from its battery so you don't have to worry about rigging up your own power source for extended shooting.
All of the parts are weatherproofed against dust and splashes, so they should endure the rain and reasonable exposure to the elements, but they're not waterproof for submersion.
Since the system is designed to be as light and portable as possible, it's not meant for heavier cameras and lenses. The shuttle's suspension can support up to 1 lb (~0.45 kg) when moving horizontally, and drops to about 8 oz (~0.23 kg) on steeper inclines. That's enough to handle smartphones, GoPro cameras, and many point-and-shoots.
Trek's Indiegogo campaign has more than doubled its funding goal and there's one week left to go on pre-orders. Production is scheduled for December and shipments to backers are expected in January. Starter kits with 3 feet (~91 cm) of straight track begin at $245 during the campaign, after which they will go up to $300. Additional linear and curved track segments are available in extension packages and will be sold separately after the campaign.