Mobile Technology

MirrorCase – the covert (pervert?) photography accessory for iPhone 4/4S

MirrorCase – the covert (perve...
MirrorCase for iPhone 4/4S
MirrorCase for iPhone 4/4S
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Look at these sad, grey individuals holding their phones up like idiots. NOW LOOK AT MEEEE!
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Look at these sad, grey individuals holding their phones up like idiots. NOW LOOK AT MEEEE!
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OK, so here's the imaginary mental conversation I'm having with the developer of the Mirrorcase for iPhone. Please read it in the style of Clarke and Dawe's brilliant "The Front Fell Off" sketch:

Me: So describe the product.

Him (and for some reason I'm almost certain it's a him): In essence, it's a protective case for your phone, but it has an extension with an angled mirror that lets you shoot photos without aiming the back of the phone at people.

Me: Does it fit in your pocket?

Him: Sure, if you have big pockets and the right sized hole in your leg. It comes with its own software too, so you can put another photo from your camera roll on the screen and shoot photo or video in stealth mode!

Me: So it's for perverts.

Him: No! It's for regular family types. Look at this! (Holds phone in front of face) See? My phone is coming between me and my life! Now look at this! (Holds phone like a flashlight) Now I'm free to enjoy the moment AND capture it forever!

Look at these sad, grey individuals holding their phones up like idiots. NOW LOOK AT MEEEE!
Look at these sad, grey individuals holding their phones up like idiots. NOW LOOK AT MEEEE!

Me: So how do you know you're getting the right shot?

Him: Well you look down at the screen here.

Me: And how is this different from holding your phone up and looking at the back of it, again?

Him: Well, you look like you're doing something else. Especially when you put another image on it as a "Privacy Screen."

Me: And why would you want to do that?

Him: Well, some people don't like having photos taken of them.

Me: Like hot girls in front of you in the McDonalds queue?

Him: No!

Me: Or hot girls going up the stairs in front of you?

Him: No, not like that at all! It's for the Instagram generation! People who want to document their life in photos!

Me: Crappy mobile phone photos of things they don't want people to know they're taking photos of.

Him: Exactly! Have you heard of the Observer Effect in physics? It says you can't observe a situation without changing it. Anyone with a camera knows what that's like! As soon as you hold the camera up, people behave differently!

Me: Like how?

Him: Well, sometimes they slap you.

Me: Thanks for talking with us.

If the MirrorCase sounds like your kind of thing, then don your yellow plastic raincoat and head over to the RHP Multimedia website, where it's available for US$49.95. Better buy quick if you want it in time for Christmas!

Perhaps I'm just a damaged individual – but I can't think why else you'd want one of these. And we all know it's not cool – even the famously permissive Reddit community banned the r/creepshots subreddit that encouraged perverts to take covert snaps of girls at the gym, in the street or at the beach.

If you believe this is anything but a creepshots machine, feel free to try to convince me in the comments section below.

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18 comments
Daniel Moreno
Honestly, can't argue with you. I live in Japan, the creepshot capital of the world. They're gonna love this over here.
Slowburn
The perverts camera is not in anything as obvious as a iPhone.
Skywoolf
While I agree its a great pervert tool I would find it very useful. Most people I know here in the Philippines love having their picture taken so when you point a camera they either pose or are immediately joined by everyone nearby running to get in the picture.
My best pictures are mostly those I take covertly.
Frank Kemper
Of course this Pervert thing reads very funny. On the other hand: If you look into the history of photography, you will notice that some of the most iconic cameras require a view from the top for ordinary shooting. A classic Hasselblad 500C, a Rolleiflex and many other professional studio cameras come standard equipped with a waistlevel finder, while an eyelevel pentaprism finder is a bulky, yet expensive option. Shooting images in that way (i.e. looking not into the direction of the target but looking onto your camera) has three advantages: First, as you mentioned, unobtrousiveness (the pervert thing), second, help for shots at distances very low above the ground, which normally would require you to lie flat on your belly in the mud, and third (this may sound strange for those who never worked with a wastlevel finder) better control over the image composition. If you look into your camera from the top, things like an inclining horizont spot your eye far better than with eyelevel finders. For sure there is a reason why famous portrait photographers like Helmut Newton loved to work with waistlevel finders, and the models for sure knew that Hemut was watching them. In order to be truly helpful, however, the device described above lacks one thing: One should be able to turn the mirror by 90 degrees in order to enable the camera to shoot in landscape mode if required.
windykites
In the past when people in foreign lands were photographed by explorers, they believed that their souls were being captured.This belief still endures, obviously. People really don't like unknown photographers capturing their image. In the same way we don't like surveillance cameras capturing our image, but in the interests of 'security', we all have to put up with it. I just read a case of somebody who was taking photographs in the street and was approached by the police and asked what he was up to. In England there is no law against taking photographs in the street, but that still doesn't stop the police (I think they are not actually aware of the law governing this). The governments of the World have put everybody in fear of terrorism. The chances of anything happening are probably much less than getting run over by a bus, but never mind eh?
Vance Taylor
does this fit the Ipod5 Touch ?
John Foster
Rather bulky compared to the HiLoLens at http://www.hilolens.com/
freedomsailor
Well, Mr. Blain, I bought 9 of these MirrorCase items for my boat surveyors. When they are crawling around the bowels of a boat doing engine and equipment surveys, the use of a cumbersome camera elicits a few nautical words not fit for human consumption.
When I showed them the pictures of this product, not a single one of them thought "pervert" product. To a man, they said buy it!
So, I guess that it takes a pervert to see a pervert!
Charles Bosse
As hardware this seems pretty useful (in agreement with the comment above about angles on cameras)... but the software stealth mode? I think it's still pretty obvious when someone is taking a picture with this, and that's frankly a good thing.
That said, I long ago disabled the camera shutter sound on my phone - no use telling people -exactly- when I am taking a picture, or destroying the ambiance with annoying camera usage.
dwainez
Well said Freedomsailor! I thought of it for chimney inspections to quickly show customers the upper and lower ends of their chimneys, possibly avoiding the expense of a video scan. Seems like home inspectors in many professions would find it useful. Then I thought about it for surreptitiously observing government infractions...undoubtedly that's perversion in Jack Boot's collective mind. But the Hi-Lo Lens http://www.gizmag.com/hilo-right-angle-iphone-ipad-lens/24684/ would be my choice for general use.