This modified kitchen timer puts smartphone timelapses in a spin
A new gadget is aimed at helping smartphone users capture professional looking timelapses. Though Hobie is little more than a modified kitchen timer, it allows users to record panning timelapse shots at almost any angle.
Designer Mattia Ciucciarelli explains that his use of a kitchen timer as a basis for the Hobie gives "new life to an already existing product." Ciucciarelli says he chose the specific timer in question because it is the most resistant, its shape is the simplest and it's easy to replace as it is commonly found.
The design also gives new life to smartphone timelapse turntables. The Hobie isn't an entirely new concept, with products like the Spinpod already on the market. It does, however, provide some clever features and functionalities.
To begin with, the Hobie comprises a large static wheel mounted on top of the kitchen timer. A crossbar with bungees is able to rotate 360 degrees within the wheel. The bungees allow a user to secure a smartphone up to 8 cm (3 in) wide in place (sorry, Nexus 6 owners, that means your phablet is too big). The rotating crossbar means that the smartphone can be angled in almost any direction, overcoming a limitation of similar products that only allow for one angle.
The Hobie can be used to create still or moving timelapses, with the latter set up using the wind-up mechanism of the kitchen timer. As a result of using this sort of mechanism, the timer does not require any batteries or charging. One downside, however, is that the speed of rotation cannot be altered – a quarter (90-degree) turn will always take 15 minutes.
If all works as advertised, Hobie sounds like a simple, portable and cheap means of capturing timelapses with a smartphone. A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is underway for the device and, at the time of writing, it's possible for individuals who pledge from £24 (US$38) to receive one (assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and roll-out). Users who need a more sophisticated feature set will need to look elsewhere mind.
Kickstarter rewards units are expected to begin shipping in November this year.
The video below shows the Hobie in action.