I don’t have access to a fabrication plant, or have the skills to prototype this product so I’m just going to describe it in the hope that one of the toy-makers out there in iPod/iPhone accessory land will pick this up and run with it. When it comes out you can all thank me.
I want an iPhone tripod attachment, with remote control, a battery and an optional power source, and a mic socket would be nice too.
Michael Arrington said it best when he wrote that the iPhone 3GS should have been called the iPhone 3G V for video. OK, so the new model is faster – so what, it’s newer than the iPhone 3G – which contained the same processor as the original iPhone – it SHOULD be faster – it’s got 2 years of progress to build-in. The real killer feature will be that video camera.
He is also right when they say that the Flip is going to come under some serious pressure from the new iPhone. OK, the Flip HD cams do 720p and the iPhone only does 640×480 for now. The iPhone has an always-on connection to the Internet and that makes up for a lot. Right now you can’t stream from your iPhone, but companies like Qik have it working on jailbroken phones, it’s only a matter of time before Apple/AT&T allow it, or Apple make it a ‘wifi only’ feature like VoIP is. Regardless of that, the ease of shooting and editing a video, then posting it to the video sharing platform of your choice is such that you can shoot and upload pretty damn quick, with no computer needed.
So what’s missing from this picture? Something to correct a few in-built failings of the iPhone, and rectify some of the most egregiously bad uses I’ve seen of the Flip. I’ve seen videos shot at conferences on a handheld Flip – it gives me motion sickness.
The device I would like to see would have:
- cradle to hold the iPhone, using the dock connector – with a tight grip (if you’re using it with a GorillaPod, you’ll be needing that)
- a battery, to provide additional power to supplement the iPhone’s built-in battery
- RF remote – RF because you don’t always have line-of-sight, and a remote is necessary so you don’t jolt the iPhone when it is recording – with record, stop and zoom controls
- a standard tripod screw-in connector on the bottom, so you can use it with any standard tripod or even a GorillaPod.
- Microphone socket – standard 3.5mm jack – you can adapt pretty much anything to plug into it, and the ability to use a radio mic, or clip mic would be pretty cool and certainly give better sound than the in-built one
Imagine the ability to webcast, with good quality, from anywhere you have an internet connection.
It would also be cool if the device could work with the standard camera app for taking pics – then even owners of the normal iPhone 3G would be potential customers; often the pictures are just a bit blurry because of camera shake. A remote trigger and a tripod would solve that pain too.
Oh yeah – I want to pay no more than $50 for it. So Griffin, Mophie, Xtrememac, Belkin et al – have at!
UPDATE 7/7/09: This is promising from startup OWLE, and the ZGrip from established camera accessory company Zaguto. Now if you wouldn’t mind adding a power source…