Collaborative team David Itzkowitz, Sarah Rose, and Amos Fridlin, co-inventors of a new product they call the CAMpanion, follow in the footsteps of countless trailblazers before them, letting necessity lead them on the path toward invention. For Itzkowitz, a hobby skier, that’s a fast-paced path, not unlike the breathtaking trajectory of innovation where the 3D printing industry is concerned. The three, all long-time photographers, are fans of GoPro cameras, which are ideal for getting extreme actions stills and videos.
They were all in agreement, however, that one of the shortcomings of GoPro cameras is their diminutive size. While that’s great if you’re mounting the small, lightweight camera to your helmet before jumping out of a plane, working with a GoPro manually can be frustrating, “difficult to use without a viewfinder or lighting,” explained Rose, who is a hobby photographer.
Fridlin, a 20-year veteran of the videography industry, Rose, and Itzkowitz put their heads together and came up with CAMpanion, a simple but ingenious device that allows you to use your smartphone or tablet and your GoPro together.
“The CAMpanion,” says the trio, “serves to turn the GoPro and smartphone into a point-and-shoot camera.”
The device works with all models of the GoPro camera; it includes a mounting plate, two mounts, and a rubber lens cap to protect the GoPro lens when it’s not in use (and you’re using the lens of your smartphone or tablet).
They’ve established a Kickstarter campaign to raise $28,000 to begin manufacturing the device — and they reached their goal in less than four days. Incredibly, they’ve raised nearly $30,000 from almost 700 backers (as of the time of writing), and there are still 54 days remaining in the campaign. It seems the device is definitely in demand.
While the focus of the CAMpanion team seems to be manufacturing the device on a broader scale, we’re impressed that they’re also willing to share the 3D files with supporters who pledge $5, a gesture that certainly endears them to the open share community. If you elect to use the files to 3D print your own CAMpanion, you will need to agree to print it only for yourself, of course. They also note: “Adhesive, lens cap, and 3D printer not included.” The STL files will be available in March 2015.
The $20 Early Bird deal — half the retail price of the CAMpanion — sold out with 500 backers signing up within the first three days of the campaign to get their devices in April 2015. There’s stil time to give as little as $30 to get the CAMpanion at a 25% discount before it hits the market. We love, however, the reward for anyone willing to give the CAMpanion team $10,000 toward building their enterprise: “A VIP All Expenses Paid Trip to Karpathos,” the Greek island. We think that’s a pretty good place to give the CAMpanion and GoPro combo a spin. The trip is set for September 2015.
Even if it’s not for a Greek isle trip, is this a Kickstarter campaign that you’ll back? Let us know if you’d like to mount your GoPro on any of your mobile devices in the CAMpanion GoPro Accessory forum thread over at 3DPB.com.