HiLO Lens: Expanding the iPhone/iPad Camera Possibilities
by Mark Hampton, Alexander, Onur and Nyugen
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The HiLO Lens expands the iPhone/iPad camera possibilities
Unless you’re on a planned trip or at a special occasion, how often do you haul your digital camera around to take pictures? Now compare that with the number of times you’ve used your phone to take pictures. For many people, the use of the iPhone or iPad as their primary camera is growing to the point where iPhone photography has become more than just a fad. But there are many options iPhone cameras just don’t provide that standard digital cameras do. Mark Hampton, a New Zealander with a background in microelectronics, set out to produce a device that was up to the task of providing one of those features that we’ve been missing with our iPhones. The result of his team’s work just hit Kickstarter and is called HiLO Lens.
HiLO Lens is a small, right angle camera lens attachment for the iPhone and iPad. Because of its construction as a right angle lens, the screen and camera no longer have to be facing the same direction. In addition, the camera lens can be positioned for portrait or landscape photos. This combination lets you take exactly the picture you want from practically any angle. For example, we’ve all been in a large crowd where we can’t see the main attraction but at least want a picture. We raise our camera’s above our heads and snap blindly, usually with suboptimal results. With this combination, we’re able to view the picture on the screen, move the lens where we want and capture the photo.
HiLO Lens also has another feature that sets it high above the rest. Typically you make a choice between either having a large lens and maintaining the iPhone’s full field of view, or you have a small lens and lose some of that field of view. The HiLO Lens is able to give the best of both worlds. The optics (the lenses) that they use allow the size of the reflective element to be reduced. It keeps the lens small yet still allows the entire view to be captured.
The HiLO Lens includes several amazing features such as:
- Right angle lens
- Can be easily removed and repositioned
- Maintains the iPhone/iPad full field of view
- Works with iPhone4/4S/5 & iPad3
- Free app that improves image quality and has a self-delay timer
- Optics are made from high quality optical glass with multilayer anti-reflective coatings. The container is precision machined from aluminum.
It’s always been convenient to use the iPhone camera, but we haven’t really been able to take a wide array of pictures with it. We’ve been stuck with straight-on shots. The HiLO Lens gives us the incredible flexibility we’ve been missing. With the right angle lens and swivel design, any flat surface you can lay your phone down on becomes a tripod and the app comes with a self-delay timer. As the project creator says, “For self portraits the tripod function is very useful – no more phone in the mirror photos!” Want to take a picture of a newborn crawling? You no longer have to be at their level, twist yourself into a pretzel, crane your neck (or any other crazy position we put ourselves in when trying to take a low angle picture) to get that amazing shot.
Even though the developers are almost ready to introduce the product on the market, they need a little more funding to get the first manufacturing run going. After being on Kickstarter only a couple weeks, they are already over 60% funded — that’s because they have a really great product idea going and people are getting excited! If you like the product as much as I do, don’t hesitate to show your support for the HiLO Lens on their Kickstarter page!