Since I only have two arms, capturing myself on video with an iPhone is basically a non-event. It’s not that I’m narcissistic; I often do gadget reviews on camera or interview folks at trade shows. The iPhone 4S actually works well in both cases and alleviates the need to carry a dedicated video camera to get some HD footage. Wouldn’t it be great if the device could track movement while capturing audio and video?
Turns out that the iPhone can with Swivl, an intelligent, swiveling tripod base for the iPhone. For $139, you get a small stand that both holds the iPhone and also tracks you on camera thanks to a small clip-on accessory. Another $40 adds audio recording via the remote, plus automatic vertical framing for the phone’s camera. Here’s how it works:
I’d happily use this for my work needs, but I see a multitude of other benefits as well. Folks could have hands-free FaceTime chats on an iPhone or iPod touch, for example. Educators could easily record their lectures and be able to move around the room. And I’ve been meaning to analyze my terrible golf swing with an iPhone camera; I could do that and not worry about having to stand still in one spot. Maybe that’s the problem with my swing — moving around too much?
The folks behind Swivl say the device supports iPhone 4/4S and the fourth-generation iPod Touch. Android phones aren’t fully supported, but you can use them with the base for the tracking functionality.