I really like the Luna Display. The dongle still occupies a spot in my travel-cord bag. But like the bag it resides in, the iPad accessory hasn’t gotten much use in the past year. 2020 has no doubt been a tough time for the company, which was already reeling from Apple’s introduction of Sidecar last year at WWDC. At the time, the technology was considered the latest victim of Apple “Sherlocking.”
Luna’s maker (Astropad) has been working hard to make Luna a valuable product, even in this post-Sidecar world. Late last year, for instance, it introduced the ability to turn older Macs into a secondary display. Now it’s bringing functionality specifically for the work-from-home crowd looking to MacGyver together solutions until they can get back to their studios.
The latest version of the Luna software (v. 4.2) adds a teleprompter mode that flips the second display mirroring for use with a beam splitter. Doing so allows the text to appear right side up when mirrored by the splitter. With the camera in place, the presenter is able to look directly at the camera while reading text from the prompter. It’s almost as if they’re looking directly at you, delivering off-the-cuff thoughts. Such trickery!
If the past few months have taught us anything (aside from, you know, deeply learned lessons about human nature), it’s that it’s really annoying when someone is looking just to the side of the camera. Teleprompter mode is a reasonably accessible way to accomplish this (though you’ll be adding another couple hundred bucks if you don’t already own a beam splitter).
The company enlisted the help of hotshot app video guy Adam Lisagor to demonstrate how the feature fits into his own setup. Come for the remote workflow demonstration and stay for the Tim and Eric references:
As with other Luna features, teleprompter mode has a relatively limited use case, but Astropad is no doubt hoping that enough interesting new features will help it continue to grow a user base beyond the simple Sidecar-esque mode for which it was initially designed. At the very least, there’s going to continue to be a market for those looking to build their own at-home studio, given that working from home is going to continue being the default for many in many parts of the world.
One thing, though — in spite of Astropad’s recommendations, maybe don’t use a teleprompter on your Zoom dates.