The ability to shoot video and conduct video chats on your smartphone is pretty great, but trying to film yourself or holding the phone steady while on a video call isn't so easy. That is, until now.
Belmont, Calif.-based company Satarii will soon be launching an accessory called the Swivl that allows you to mount your smartphone or point-and-shoot camera to a motorized stand and have it track your every movement so you can shoot video and chat hands-free.
The product consists of two pieces: the aforementioned motorized mount and a small marker that you can clip to your body or any other object that you want to capture on film. Using sensors embedded in the base of the stand and on the wearable accessory, the mount will then follow the movements of the marker, as your phone or camera records all the action. In addition to swiveling left and right, the mount can tilt your device up or down.
The video below shows some use cases for the Swivl, including filming yourself playing sports or making FaceTime calls while doing other tasks. Though the Swivl can work with any smartphone less than half an inch thick, iPhone users get some extra perks. A built-in power connector allows you to charge your iPhone while attached to the Swivl. iPhone owners can also stop and start recording using controls on the marker.
Satarii first introduced the Swivl in mid-January as a prototype called the Satarri Star. At that time, the company was hoping to ship the product in the next 12 months with a price between $150 and $200.
The company has since been able to raise money for the project using a crowd-funding service called IndieGoGo, and the Swivl is now expected to ship in early 2012 for $159.99. You can preorder one now through Swivl's Web site.