Fund this: iBlazr adds synced flashbulb to your smartphone
This Kickstarter project has the potential to vastly improve the lighting in your Android and iOS photos. And it's already funded.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
The iBlazr resembles an oversize Square reader in that it's, well, square and plugs into your device's headphone jack. Its four LEDs deliver a 60-degree beam angle, meaning the light is diffused and therefore less likely to look harsh on subjects' faces.
The unit also features its own rechargeable battery (good for over 1,000 flashes, according to the developers), so it won't have any impact on your phone or tablet battery. All early-backer pledges that include the iBlazr also comes with a flexible USB charger.
A bundled Android/iOS app will let you snap photos (and video) using the iBlazr and adjust various settings, including the intensity of the light. But developers wishing to add iBlazr support can do so, and a handful of app-makers have already lined up.
The iBlazr is available in black, white, and a premium aluminum version. Although the project has already surpassed its funding goal of $58,000, you can still get it for as low as $39 for a black or white model with charger. The anodized-aluminum version will run you $59, or you can get one of each for $80.
I just spent a few days in Chicago surrounded by countless photo ops, and frequently found myself cursing the crummy LED on my iPhone 4S. I seriously wish I'd had an iBlazr in my pocket for all those low-light occasions. The prices do seem a little steep, but maybe the extra funding will help the developers make the gizmo a little more affordable.
What do you think? Is this just the smartphone-photography accessory you've been dreaming of? If so, think you'll become a funder?