I’m really starting to love this whole crowdfunding thing. Even if you look beyond gargantuan success stories like the TikTok Nano watch, you’ve still got all sorts of all sorts of wonderful concepts like the PadPivot, the mBrace, and the C-Loop all taking huge steps toward production thanks to ultra-early-adopters who were willing to pledge their cash up front.
Last week, I had the chance to sit down and chat with a new company called Satarii, which is a pretty small operation (just a couple of engineers in a garage) banking on crowdfunding to help push their product — the Satarii Star, an iPhone/Camera base that rotates to follow you around the room and keep you always in frame — over the last few hurdles in the journey to production. Really, though — check this thing out.
The idea is simple enough: plop your iPhone (or any phone/camera that will fit, or that Satarii will make an adapter for) into the Star base, stick a little 1″x2″ marker somewhere on your person, and flip the switch to turn the system on — bam! You’re no longer stuck behind your camera, or stuck with the duty of finding someone to shoot the video for you. Using a combination of optical tracking and undisclosed technology (or, as Satarii puts it, the “secret sauce”), the Star base rotates up to 180° horizontally based on the position of the marker. Imagine FaceTime chats that follow you as you walk around the room, or being able to snag a clip of that new skateboard trick without having to subject a buddy to watching you fall a few dozen times.
Seems like an obvious concept, right? And yet, it doesn’t appear that anyone else is doing this — at least, not for smaller devices, not within the past decade or so, and not anywhere near the $200 price point that Satarii is aiming for.
Satarii says that their goal is to have the first batch of these things going out within about 6 months, with their first real retail endeavors beginning in about a year. Right now, the Star exists in two forms: a non-functional “Looks Like” prototype that represents how things will (hopefully) look in the end, and a totally-functional “Works Like” prototype which proves the concept with a slightly bulkier, slightly-less-sightly package built from off-the-shelf components. The Works Like prototype does indeed work as promised — in fact, I put it to use a few times in the video up above.
As someone who has to frame and shoot their own videos just about every week, I’m definitely rooting for these guys. Pop on over to their page on IndieGoGo to find out more, or, if you feel so inclined, drop a few bucks into the project.