It has often been repeated (accurately) that the best camera is the one with me. My iPhone 5S is truly always with me, and an excellent camera with many cool features. There are many accessories now available which greatly enhance its power and versatility (plus delight). I’ve found another cool accessory you should know about.
Originally a Kickstarter project almost two years ago with over $700,000 in funding, the Motrr Galileo turns my iPhone (or iPod touch) into a remotely-controlled video camera with 360˚ rotation. I just swipe a finger on my iPad mini screen and the Galileo responds, orienting my iPhone left or right, up or down. I can actually control what I see from another room, or from another location far away using the app called AirBeam.
With a different app called Sphere, I can capture and share spherical panoramas automatically. Spherical photography used to be just for pros, but with Galileo and the Sphere app (free), I’m one tap away from beautiful, multi-exposure spherical panoramas. If I want HD panoramas quickly and easily, then my app choice is DMD Panorama ($4.99). For breathtaking time-lapses sequences, then I can use the app TimeLapse ($4.99) for precision control.
I’ve used the Galileo in many locations from my favorite coffee shop to restaurants to homes to scenic sites like the beautiful State Capitol Building, all with successful. My recommendation for best “stitching” of the images together is to provide some distance between the Galileo and the subject (if too close, the images don’t match perfectly). Grand outdoor panoramas (like forests, lakes and urban landscapes) or large indoor spaces (like auditoriums, rotundas or convention halls) are all captured with magnificence. The time lapse feature has no such suggestions, but has the advantage of both vertical and horizontal ranges that can be scanned in combination with timed photos, providing some very entertaining and informative sequences.
This unit is very compact, durable and versatile with great battery life. Instructions for setup and operation are easy to follow and implement. Other apps are also available for alarm functions, WristVision for the Pebble smartwatch and other still under development. The Motrr community of app developers has integrated with Galileo to bring a new dimension of motion control to their apps. The possibilities continue to grow with more apps on the way.
Galileo comes with a several rubber inserts into which the iPhone or iPod touch is inserted to secure it in the unit. I wish they had also provide an “oversized” insert so I don’t have to remove the iPhone case to use it. The addition of a cloth carrying bag would also have been nice to protect it during transport. The package also included a micro-USB cable for charging. Several of the apps also include features to help you share your images with friends and family.
The Motrr Galileo Bluetooth (white or black) is available for iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPod Touch 5th generation for $149.95 from www.motrr.com. The 30-pin version for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 4th generation can be purchased at the same location for $129.95. This is a great vacation accessory that can help you bring back stunning pictures from any trip (or even around your daily life).