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OWLE: A Mount That Turns Your iPhone 3GS Into A Mobile Video Workhorse

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We’ve made no secret of our admiration of the iPhone 3GS’s video capabilities — Apple has managed to integrate a video camera that’s both easy to use and surprisingly high quality into an already-stellar device. But for all its merits, the iPhone 3GS suffers from being, well, a phone. No matter how good the phone’s video quality is, it’s still prone to shakiness as its director moves around. And while the microphone may be high quality, its position at the bottom of the phone definitely isn’t ideal recording whatever you’re pointing the camera lens at.

Fortunately, an answer is on the way for all you mobile videographers. A new startup called OWLE (Optical Widgets For Life Enhancement), is currently working on a mount that should resolve most of these issues. The mount, which you can see in the images and videos below, gives you a much more stable way to hold the phone, making it much less prone to bumps and shakes. The mount also improves your recording quality by including a 37mm camcorder lens and a front facing microphone, which plugs into the phone’s headphone/mic jack. There’s also planned support for external lighting and power. All in a package that could slip easily into a backpack or laptop case. In short, this is exactly what you need if you frequently use the iPhone for video.

Unfortunately, it will still be a while before you can get your hands on one. OWLE plans to have a limited production run completed by late August, which it will distribute to bloggers and other press to help get the word out. A full production run is currently slated to be completed by Christmas, at a retail pricepoint in the $30-50 range, including the accessories. There are also a few shortcomings from the hardware side: because the included microphone plugs into the phone’s mic jack, it only supports mono. The company is planning another version that will plug into the phone’s 30-pin adapter (which would enable stereo recording) but that won’t make this model.

In the demo video below, OWLE also pleads with Apple to begin fully supporting Qik on the iPhone 3GS — something that we’ve also been hoping for, and would make the device even more appealing. You can sign their petition here.

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