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Kickstarter project promises dirt-cheap smartphone video stabilization

Expected to sell for under $20, the SlingShot gives you a steadier grip when shooting movies. It doubles as a tripod mount and triples as an actual tripod.

Earlier this year I wrote about the Kungl, a nifty plastic iPhone case with an embedded 1/4-inch tripod mount.

At $19.99, it's one of the more affordable tripod accessory options out there. But what if you want to shoot video with, say, an iPod Touch? Or an Android phone? And what if you don't happen to have a tripod handy?

Assuming the Kickstarter funding comes through, the SlingShot will hold your smartphone steady for under $20.
Assuming the Kickstarter funding comes through, the SlingShot will hold your smartphone steady for under $20. Woxom

This Kickstarter project might be just the answer: the SlingShot is a universal smartphone video-stabilization system that has a few nifty tricks up its sleeve. And you can get in on the action for just $14.

To look at the SlingShot is to see, well, something that looks like a slingshot. But instead of a rubber band for flinging stones, you've got a flexible cradle that promises to hold any smartphone securely and steadily.

There's no actual image stabilization at work here (as provided by mounts like the $100 iStabilizer MobiGlide); your shot will be only as steady as you can hold the rig in your hand.

But I suspect it's much easier to minimize shake when you're grasping a solid plastic handle than when you're delicately holding your phone between your fingertips. And the SlingShot incorporates a ball joint between the handle and the cradle, which affords a lot more versatility in setting up your shots.

The SlingShot can double as a tripod.
The SlingShot can double as a tripod. Woxom

The SlingShot does more than just cradle your camera phone. The handle cleverly conceals a pair of legs that pop out to turn the entire rig into a tabletop tripod. In addition, the cradle can unscrew from the handle and attach to any standard tripod mount.

As of this writing, the product is a little more than halfway to its $20,000 Kickstarter goal, and with over a month to go, I have no doubt it'll make it. According to the creator's PR rep, the SlingShot will retail for less than $20.

But if you pledge right now, you can get a SlingShot for as little as $14 -- shipped!

That strikes me as pretty solid deal for a gizmo that offers three functions in one -- especially considering that I've seen single-function, iPhone-only tripod mounts selling for a lot more.

Personally, I'm dying to get my hands on the aforementioned MobiGlide. But if you don't need Steadicam-quality image stabilization, this looks like the next best thing -- for a lot less money.