What does HiLO Lens do?
Quite a few things. We’re focusing on two main uses – high angle photography and low angle photography. A lot of great shots use a difficult angle. HiLO Lens for the iPhone is a bit like having a flip/swivel screen on a digital camera. With HiLO Lens it is very easy to get down low and frame a shot, perfect for young children and pets. High angle shots get well above the crowd, with HiLO Lens you can see the screen while holding the iPhone at arms length above your head.
Beyond that, HiLO Lens is the world’s smallest tripod. You can sit the iPhone on it’s back, near an edge, with HiLO Lens just over the edge, for example on a table or a big rock. The iPhone is stable and the camera directed toward the horizon. With a delayed shutter or time lapse App the possibilities are endless.
Then there is street photography, HiLO Lens opens a world of possibilities for street photographers.
Where did the idea come from?
A concourse of circumstance! I have an old Canon S2, with a swivel screen. The iPhone 3G was a revolution for me when it came out in Tokyo. GPS and train timetables are a big deal when the train stops at midnight, crossing Tokyo in a cab is an expensive exercise. I’m a fan of Kickstarter.com which is a crowdfunding site, that is a real revolution of launching products. The idea came about while brainstorming for iPhone accessories that would fit with Kickstarter.
When will HiLO Lens be available?
We are preparing a Kickstarter campaign now, the product design is finished. Before launching Kickstarter we want to find people who will support the Kickstarter campaign. To make sure it gets off to a flying start. If we could get 100 people subscribing to our product announcement that would be fantastic. Register on the HiLO Lens home page :) The Kickstarter campaign will run for about 1 month. The pre-orders from Kickstarter will allow us to launch the initial production run of at least 1000 parts. This quantity will get the cost down. The optics are time consuming to make, it will take about 8 weeks. Then they can be sent out to the Kickstarter backers. We will get some extra parts made so we can start selling on the website. But it could take a long time before you see HiLO Lens in a retail store, we are a very small team.
The retail price will be around $80. But for Kickstarter backers we will give a discount – they will be making the product possible.
Any other products in mind?
For now we just want to get the HiLO Lens to market. But we do have more ideas up our sleeve for the iPhone camera.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks very much for the opportunity to talk about HiLO Lens. It is people like you that will allow the project to get off the ground!