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April 18, 2012

The Swivl Turns Your iPhone Into a Camera Crew


A new iPhone (News - Alert) app and accompanying product, the Swivl, allows users to record video hands-free.

At first, the Swivl seems a bit expensive as a mere camera mount, but here's the catch: no matter where you go in the room, it rotates in order to keep you in the frame. The Swivl's base can rotate a full 360 degrees and can move vertically, as well.

The user must keep a small remote device that the app recognizes in order to maintain the tracking; you can pin it to your collar, or your hat, or elsewhere, provided that it remains visible to the camera. No software is available to support the Swivl for Android (News - Alert) phones, presently, but the company intends to develop support in the near future.

The base portion of the Swivl into which you plug your media device, only requires two double AA batteries in order to run solidly for four hours. Unfortunately, the marker itself also requires batteries; it can run for a total of ten hours on two AAA batteries.

Although vloggers represent the most immediate and obvious demographic to benefit from the Swivl, as the website points out, academic lecturers also take a liking to the technology. A handful of American universities and high schools experimented with the Swivl in the classroom and reported positive results.

Not only does the product integrate nicely into a lecture scenario without all of the muss and fuss of a visit from the AV department, but it also allows teachers an easy way to record assignments. A principal at Valley Center High School called the product a “game changer” on Twitter (News - Alert).

Additionally, the Swivl comes with educational discounts in order to encourage students to use the device to practice their public speaking skills.

In a product review, the Business Insider reported some dissatisfaction with the jerkiness of the camera motion. Perhaps future software updates can ameliorate the problem, but beyond this minor detraction, reviews of the Swivl are glowing. In January of 2012, Swivl ranked among ten finalists in CES's (News - Alert) Last Gadget Standing Competition.






Edited by Jennifer Russell
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