Smartphones are replacing digital cameras as the go-to device for snapshots these days, but holding them sideways and using the touch screen isn't an ideal method for taking photos. The Grip & Shoot system offers a less awkward alternative. Currently on show at CE Week in New York, the system attaches an ergonomic pistol grip to an iPhone and connects via Bluetooth, providing greater control when taking photos and shooting video.
The main component of the Grip & Shoot is the Bluetooth Smart Grip, which weighs just 4 oz (113 g) and fastens to a clip on a corresponding iPhone case. Once it's in place, the iPhone can be connected to a free app via Bluetooth 4.0 and controlled with three buttons: a trigger for shooting photos or rolling video and a pair of +/- buttons to adjust the zoom. The sides of the grip are designed to provide a non-slip hold, while a flashing blue LED will indicate when it is connected to the smartphone.
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The bottom of the grip is also designed to act as a stand, holding the device upright on its own. It can also be removed and attached directly to the iPhone case for remote triggering up to 100 ft (30.5 m) away. The detachable stand did seem to lack stability when we saw it in action, which isn't surprising given its small footprint, so a pocket-tripod could be a good addition to the system when using the remote shooting option.
While the focus is clearly on steadier and more natural photo and video shooting, the Grip & Shoot could be used for other purposes and programs like an augmented reality shooting game, for example. The developers have incorporated an open API for any creative developers who want to take a crack at programming new apps for grip.
The Grip & Shoot is expected to launch in about two weeks as a bundle, which will cost US$99.95 and include a case for an iPhone 4S/5, a carrying pouch, and the grip itself.
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