OTTO Is A Raspberry Pi-Based GIF Camera That Says We’ve Reached Peak Hipster

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Most cameras take either photo, video or both – but the OTTO, a new Kickstarter project, is a piece of dedicated hardware that actually captures animated GIFs. It uses a hand-crank to do it, and comes in a brightly colored, vaguely retro design, and is basically the most hipster creation of all time. It’s aiming to ship in December, so I give it two months max after that before it graces Urban Outfitters’ store shelves.

The camera is more than just a GIF maker, however. You can use the companion app on your smartphone to choose from among different modes, including GIF capture, time-lapse, photo booth tricks and filters, and even user-generated modes that are available in a community library. It’s also the first commercial product built on Raspberry Pi, and it’s designed to be hackable and extensible by just about everyone as a result.


You can also add different hardware functions to OTTO, thanks to its USB plug. Potential accessories include the FlashFlash, an Arduino-powered flash bulb with some basic robotic vision tricks that let you trigger the camera as soon as it detects a specific action, like a totally badass high-five.

I poke fun at the OTTO because of its hipster design sensibilities, but with a 96×96 top-mounted OLED display for reviewing photos, and a 35mm f/2.0 lens plus the amazing tricks it can manage, it’s actually a very impressive little piece of hackable photo hardware. Plus, the OTTO starts at $199 ($149 for early backers), which is extremely affordable for any digital camera, let alone one that has the potential for so much post-purchase customization.

The Oakland-based team behind the camera consists of Thomas Deckert, Dave Rauchwerk and Gustavo Huber, and the OTTO came out of the HAXLR8R hardware accelerator program in SF.