Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Galilean Christmas time

Regular readers of this blog might remember that a week or so ago I reported on a New Zealand engineer by the name of Mark Hampton who is attempting to fund the development of a right-angled lens for the Apple iPhone camera and Apple iPad through a site called Kickstarter.

As I mentioned before, the New York City-based Kickstarter web site is a funding platform which enables creative individuals to post ideas for potential new products on the site.

If readers of the web site like a particular product enough to buy it, they can pre-order it by pledging money to the company that has designed it. If the company then succeeds in reaching its funding goal to manufacture the product, all backers' credit cards are charged and the products are produced and delivered. If the project falls short of reaching its goals, no one is charged.

Well, I'm now pleased to report that $17,030 has already been pledged for Hampton's project and with only a $27,500 target to hit, it now looks as if his dream of making his product a reality will soon come true.

While tracking the fortunes of Hampton, I’ve also been checking out the other products that the Kickstarter web site has successfully funded. And I’m pleased to say that I have found one in particular that would make the perfect present for a whole bunch of my friends this Christmas.

The product itself is an iPhone platform called Galileo that can be controlled remotely from an Apple iPad or other iOS device. Capable of 360 degree pan-and-tilt at speeds up to 200 degree per second in any orientation, Galileo should prove not only useful amateur photographers but also folks with babies and toddlers who'd like to keep an eye on their activities!

Rather amazingly, to put the little beast into production, entrepreneurs Josh Guyot and JoeBen Bevirt were originally seeking pledges of up to $100,000 on the Kickstarter site, but it appears that the project garnered so much interest that over 5,000 people backed the idea with the result that the team raked in a whopping $702,427.

Unfortunately, much to my dismay, it's still impossible to actually purchase one of the little robotic beasts from Motrr (Santa Cruz, CA, USA) -- the company that the duo set up to sell the units. At the present time, the best that one can do is to sign up to be notified via email when the Galileo will be available for sale.

Hopefully, that will be in time for Christmas.

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