Smoovie stabilizer fits in a pocket, takes the shake out of smartphone or GoPro videos for just ~$20
posted Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 6:59 AM EDT
Want to take the shakes out of your smartphone or GoPro videos, but don't want to spend a fortune and lug around a big, heavy stabilizing rig to do it? Well, the answer just might have appeared on Kickstarter yesterday, and unlike many crowdsourced products, you won't have to hand over a large chunk of cash in the hopes, one day, of receiving the product you'd pay for.
The just-launched Smoovie is a handheld stabilizer with an exceptionally compact size, and an equally minimal pricetag. Available right now for as little as £11 (£12 for the Plus version) -- that's about US$16 (US$17 for the Plus version) at current exchange rates -- the Smoovie is just half the price of Steadicam's most affordable (and rather less compact) unit, the Steadicam Curve. And unlike that model, which can stabilize only GoPro cameras, the Smoovie Plus variant will stabilize most smartphones and GoPros as well. (The slightly lower-cost standard version is for phones only.) To achieve the same with a Steadicam, you'll need to spend around US$150 for the Steadicam Smoothee, and another $20-30 on accessory mounts.
So the price certainly looks good, but what of the product itself? Well, like any Kickstarter creation, there's no way to know for sure before you lay down your cash, but you've only a couple of months to wait until the expected delivery date, and the results shown in promotional videos from the London-based company behind the Smoovie leave us hopeful. It's not a miracle product by any means, and some noticeable shake does remain in Smoovie videos, but it's been dampened enough to make the video much more appealing than regular handheld clips shot with a smartphone while walking.
And how has this been achieved? Smoovie's maker notes two particular innovations that allow its product's small size and simple-yet-(hopefully)-effective operation. Firstly, the shaft on which the counterweight is mounted can be easily adjusted to change its length, with markings allowing you to know just where to lock the shaft in place for your particular device. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, the gimbal atop the device features two neodymium magnets that help to dampen motion.
When folded, the Smoovie measures just 7.5 x 1.6 x 1.4 inches -- small enough to fit in a pocket if you don't mind the end peeking out -- and weighs just 4.4 ounces. All smartphones up to 7.9 ounces and 3.4 inches in width are supported by the device, and as noted previously, the Smoovie Plus also accepts GoPro cameras courtesy of an interchangeable adapter.
The Kickstarter campaign is already halfway to its US$14,128 goal with 29 days to go, so it seems very likely this device will reach the market. To get your preorder in, hop on over to the Smoovie product page on Kickstarter!