Using a smartphone as a camera is a nearly universal feature with today’s phones. Many people use their phone camera nearly as much as they text or talk, whether taking pictures for fun or for social media posts. One of the most commonly highlighted features of new smartphones is their camera capabilities.
However, using a smartphone as a camera can have drawbacks. Pictures can be shaky and blurry, ruining the picture. As well, some pictures are difficult to take when holding the phone in hand, but “selfie sticks” often make the shakiness even worse.
The SMOVE stabilizer addresses these issues. It is an automated phone stabilizer that makes taking clear pictures easy. It also boasts some technological features that make it stand out from any other phone stabilizer.
The name combines “smooth” and “move,” clearly in reference to how stable the smartphone will be when taking pictures or videos. Its team is composed of experts in engineering and design. More specifically, the SMOVE team has a great deal of experience making unmanned aerial vehicles and related technologies.
SMOVE was supported by Arrow Electronics, a company that has an incredible variety of technological products, from sensors to batteries to LED lights. Its manufacturing is guided by over 50 engineers and quality control staff.
The experience of the team allowed this product to advance from its genesis as an idea to a product ready for mass production in only a year.
Initial research began in October of 2015, and subsequent months were spent adding features to the device. Bluetooth connectivity was developed in February of 2016, and the final products received testing in June. Mass production is scheduled for November, and the backers can expect delivery of the product in December.
The speed of its development can be largely attributed to both the skill of the team and the support of its more than 1000 backers. In fact, it has already amassed over 800% of its $20 000 goal, raking in about $170 000.
What Does SMOVE Do?
Of course, the main purpose of the stabilizer is to reduce shakiness when taking pictures or videos with a smartphone. It holds the smartphone steady and has an adjustable handle to suit any user. It can conveniently automatically compensate for how the user grips the handle, easily changing from horizontal to vertical.
There are buttons for taking pictures and videos on the handle, as well as a joystick used to control the zooming and panning of the smartphone. It can stand on its own for stationary use. It can accommodate just about any smartphone, including most iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
What sets this device apart from its competition is that it can stabilize smartphones while charging the phone itself. This is perfect for long days of taking pictures or videos.
SMOVE has an automated panorama feature, which allows for 360-degree images to be automatically captured and put together. This means users will no longer need to hold the phone and spin in a circle, which can be jittery and inaccurate.
It also has a feature that allows the smartphone to automatically follow faces. For videos focused on a person, this feature will keep the video steady and clear while keeping the person at the center of attention.
SMOVE has produced an app that allows the stabilizer to be controlled through its Bluetooth connection. This is what allows the face tracking feature to control the stabilizer’s motor.
All of these technologies allow a person to get the most out of a recording session, while the stabilizer’s power dock keeps the phone battery full.
One of the drawbacks of most stabilizers is that the unit is large and bulky. The SMOVE stabilizer, in contrast, is small enough to tuck away in a pocket. This makes bringing the stabilizer easy and hassle free, which is perfect for spontaneous moments that one might wish to capture.
Despite its impressive technology, the stabilizer is also very easy to use. Inserting the phone into the holder is quick and simple, and the buttons are very easy to understand (one click for a photo, two for a video).
It also contains a tripod and extension mount, which makes it easy to situate the camera at the perfect location for capturing images. This is particularly useful for capturing panorama images at an exact location.
While it is very convenient that the stabilizer is able to charge the smartphone while being used, it would be a useless feature if the stabilizer itself had to be charged after short periods of use. However, the SMOVE stabilizer is able to last approximately 6 hours of continuous use. For on-and-off users, the stabilizer will function for days on a single charge.
- Phone Compatibility: 3.5 to 6.0 inch screens
- Wireless Compatibility: iOS and Android through Bluetooth app
- Charging: USB and mini-USB
- Model: 2204, 2804
- Pitch/Pan Angle: 360 degrees
- Power: electronic on/off power button
- Shooting: shooting button
- Pan/Zoom: joystick
For early purchases through Indiegogo, the SMOVE stabilizer will cost $119. For purchases after mass production and delivery, the cost will be approximately $250.
The SMOVE stabilizer is a small, portable device that packs a great deal of technology into its small build. It performs well at its main task: keeping a smartphone level so pictures and videos are not blurry or jittery. It also comes with the added benefit of a power bank, which allows the stabilizer to charge the smartphone while pictures or videos are being shot. This ensures high quality images can be captured for hours on end.
As well, it contains some useful technology that enhances the user experience. Its Auto Face Follow technology uses the SMOVE app to recognize faces and keep the camera focused on them. It also features an automatic panorama function, which allows pictures from 180 to 360 degrees to be captured and stitched together with no effort required.
In all, this product is a fantastic example of how new technology can be used to get the most out of other devices like smartphone cameras. For anyone who spends a great deal of time capturing images or videos with their phone, this device is the perfect accessory.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker