Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Hands-Free Camera Dock Swivl Adds DSLR, iPad Support

If you don’t remember Swivl — which we reviewed in full here at AllThingsD — you surely can’t be blamed.

With an original price point of $179, it was a pretty expensive accessory for shooting video on your iPhone. Only around 10,000 units have sold since it came to market this past spring. And Satarii, the Bay Area-based company behind the product, says they were surprised to find that Swivl appealed more to business users or educators, rather than to average consumers making home videos.

With this in mind, Satarii has been gearing up for the next crop of Swivls. This time around they’re taking the Kickstarter route: Starting today, the company will begin crowdfunding two new Swivls, a feature-packed version and a basic model.

The core function of Swivl is to support your smartphone for you so you can move around while video conferencing or recording. It works with a little remote that you hold in your hand while you’re moving around, which sends a signal to the Swivl dock so it knows to follow you — sort of like your own personal camera person.

The new Swivl now supports tablets and heavy-duty DSLR cameras. And the company has ditched the built-in 30-pin connector, which limited the original gadget by supporting only iPhones, in favor of a USB port that will work with any cable.

The system is Bluetooth-enabled and works with a smartphone app — which will be available for both iOS and Android devices — that acts as a remote control for the camera.

But Swivl still isn’t cheap. The company plans to charge $149 for the basic model and $220 for the higher-end Swivl. The cheaper one doesn’t come with the little remote. The premium Swivl works with a remote that doubles as a microphone, and also has speakers built into the dock.

So while Swivl is a pretty cool product for video and photo geeks, and the company is attempting to address the consumer market with the basic model, its high price point still puts it more in the category of professional photog tools. And Swivl faces more competition now, too, with products like the Galileo and the Kubi coming out.

Satarii co-founder Brian Lamb says the company intends to ship the product around June or July of next year, assuming it hits its crowdfunding goal.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work