A new Kickstarter project is hoping to combine some popular recent gadget trends with commonly sought after DSLR and pro photography features for a Bluetooth gadget that’s unique and more versatile than most in the same category. It’s called the MaxStone, and it’s a smartphone controlled camera shutter, Bluetooth device locator and remote smartphone shutter trigger all in one.
The MaxStone is a small device powered by a single watch battery that you affix to your camera via a simple loop strap. It attaches in touch a way that it covers the camera’s shutter button, and hands down a small, pebble-like main body in front of your camera’s IR sensor. This actually contains an IR blaster that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, so that you can remotely trigger the camera’s shutter from your device. It’s a lot more low-tech than using Wi-Fi or something like that, but it means MaxStone is much more broadly compatible with a range of camera brands and models.
You can use the MaxStone apps to either trigger the camera’s shutter instantly or via time delay, or program it to take photos at intervals for time-lapse photography spanning nearly a full year, according to MaxStone’s Kickstarter page, and maintaining operation even if your phone is powered down or loses connection. It can also handle video start/stop recording on some models of camera.
That alone would be pretty impressive in a device that’s priced at a $29 pledge to start for backers, but it also offers a Bluetooth proximity alarm sensor, which makes it possible to set a location gate so that you can receive alerts if you move away from your camera, or whatever else it’s attached to. It can also be used the other way, to located your phone, thanks to functionality that allows it to trigger an alert on your device when you press the MaxStone button. Finally, it can operate as a remote shutter for your iPhone camera, too, which is crucially important for the selfie generation.
The MaxStone was created by Will E and Lia Zhang, a husband and wife team who did the original prototyping and design. Radio engineer Will Griffith helped refine RF communications, and Shawn Han developed and continues to build the MaxStone iOS app. The New York-based team is seeking $50,000, and has raised around $6,500 already, with 59 days left in their campaign. Should everything go as planned, they plan to ship the MaxStone by March, 2014.
I have yet to plunk down any cash for a lost-and-found style Bluetooth tracker, but MaxStone’s versatility and price point might make it the first such device I do back, and yet that’s not even its main function. The team here has the right idea though: bundle a number of smart device features that make sense together, and suddenly people have more than one reason not to look elsewhere or pass on the idea altogether.