Video stabilization is the alpha and omega of filming anything where the camera needs to move, and there’s plenty of professional equipment out there for those situations. More and more people use their phones for video though, even for important video that they’ll keep for years, and stabilization is important in those situations as well. The Stabil-i Case wants to bring physical image stabilization to the iPhone 4 and 4S in the form of a case that transformers into a stabilization rig with a proper handle and a counterweight.
The basic concept is that you have a metal handle that the phone balances on, which is possible due to the counterweight. This means that the phone will always be in a vertical position, removing any up/down or left/right tilting that happens as a result of movement. It’s a simple concept, but it works, and is a tried and true method for stabilization. The innovative part is that it can be folded into a relatively compact package that stays with the phone and fits in your pocket.
Unfortunately, the project description makes me slightly worried about these guys’ honesty, as they use what I can only describe as borderline deceitful math trickery to make it seem smaller than it is. When describing how much the case adds to the device, they switch between using percentage added to length and width (5% and 15% respectively) to using percentage of total for weight and thickness. By saying that the case will make up 55% of the thickness and 35% of the weight, they’re actually avoiding saying that it more than doubles the thickness and adds about 53% to the original weight. I don’t know why they feel it necessary to try to trick people like that, but I hardly think it’s a coincidence that the least flattering numbers for this case happen to be presented using the lowest numbers possible. It’s no secret that something like this is going to make the device bulkier, and I think they’re doing themselves a disfavor by not making everyone as aware of that as possible.
This issue aside, I could see a lot of uses for a case like this. I don’t think it’s something people would keep on their phone at all times, but with prices starting at $33 for early adopters, I can definitely see this being a occasional accessory that people throw on their phone when they know they’re going somewhere video-worthy, like a kids soccer game or a wedding. You might look slightly silly for balancing an iPhone around right then and there, but the moment you see the difference in the end result people should stop laughing pretty quickly.
The project needs to raise about $77,000 more in the next 36 days to succeed. Or, to take a page out of the project creators’ book, it needs to raise a total of 0.8% of what the Pebble smartwatch raised.[Kickstarter]