WHAT?! Cell Phone Camera Lenses!

If I haven’t seen it, it’s news to me!

I’ve been using my iPhone pretty much exclusively for images that I need in a hurry, or just images I want to take.  I do use my little point-and-shoot from time to time as well, but since some asshole thief stole my camera (and lenses) when I taught at Oklahoma City University, I’ve not had the bones to get a new one.  And then I come across THIS:

From PhotoJoJo:

Presenting three small yet powerful lenses: the Fisheye, Telephoto, and Macro/Wide Angle Cell Phone Lenses. These finely constructed lenses transform your standard phone photos into wide, up-close, super zoomed and wonderfully warped wonders.

They work with any camera phone (even the slick glass on your new iPhone 4!) and attaching them is easy breezy! A detachable magnetic ring sticks to your cell, providing a sturdy, shake-free hold between the lens and your phone.

The Wide Angle/Macro Lens is the perfect pairing. The removable Macro ring captures shocking high quality close-up detail while the Wide Angle Lens allows you to cram more into one shot. Perfect for video chatting or group shots.

The Fisheye Lens creates fun-tastic curved edges with a 180-degree angle that makes everyone look like they live in a plastic bubble (or a Beastie Boys music video).

Then there’s the latest addition to the phone lens family: the super handy Telephoto lens. It gives your little-phone-lens-that-could super duper 2x zooming powers. Look at you, paparazzi!

AWESOME!  FYI, PhotoJoJo didn’t pay me or ask me to post this, I just think it is awesome.  I am really considering ordering the set!  They’re basically $20 a pop ($25 for the Fisheye) or you can buy all three for $49, which saves you $16!

More pics, these things are cool as hell!

That’s right, stuck on a LAPTOP CAM!

Art Lebedev Studios’ Spectrus USB Hub – Interesting Design!

I just came across this product by my favorite Russian design studio, Art Lebedev Studios.  The studio has designed this interesting USB hub – modeled after the idea of a prism splitting light into the colors of the rainbow:

This thing is COOL!  What I love almost more than Lebedev Studios products is their process sketches – and the fact that they actually include them on the website!  Check out these process shots:

What kinda bums me out is what the product finally ended up being, at least on the Lebedev Studios product page for Spectrus, is a product with no LEDs embedded for maximum awesome.  Here’s what the initial render looked like, LEDs and all:

and here is what they ended at – just colored lines on the case, no illumination:

I still think it’s cool.  But it would have been SO MUCH COOLER illuminated!!!  Art Lebedev, your studio still rocks to me.

Art Lebedev’s Optimux Maximus Programmable OLED Keyboard



I have written about a few really cool devices and gadgets to come out of Art Lebedev’s studio in past months.  My friend Tatiana from the KTH program just recently told me about an Art Lebedev Studio design called Optimus Maximus – a programmable, fully customizable OLED keyboard that gives you the ability to have kazillions of keyboard layouts at the touch of your finger.  Video on a key, images on a key, text on a key – whatever you can dream up.

Want to have a Photoshop shortcuts keyboard?


How about an Asian keyboard?  Cyrillic?  Greek?  Arabic?  How about a magical new language that you invented from pictures of a sumo wrestler from thin to fat to thin, or a series of photographs of various stages of a Cheeto in digestion?



Art Lebedev’s Optimus Maximus OLED keyboard is pretty awesome.  I can imagine what my HogPC keyboard layout would be, and how many different layouts I would have on that thing in the first day – AutoCAD, WYSIWYG, Illustrator, all of the Office products that I use regularly – the ability to switch from one layout to another easily makes my designer mouth water.

The Optimus Maximus keyboard also comes with a manager/creator software that allows you to customize your layout and save them as formatted files – resolution is 48X48 pixels at 10 frames per second (if you’re doing video).  The keyboard itself has an SD slot on the rear for storing layout files, two USB ports, a mount for a K-lock, USB power and DC power inputs:


How much would you think a virtually unlimited collection of keyboard layouts cost?  Well, it’s about 44,000 Rubles, $1692.31 USD, or €1257.14 Euro.  But it is pretty awesome.  Someday I will be able to afford one.


Joby’s GorillaTorch Pre-Order

Joby, the company that brought us the GorillaPod tripod (you know, the one that wraps around everything) has set a new piece of gear for pre-order.  Meet the GorillaTorch:


Just like the original GorillaPod tripod, but with a light attached to it!  Hook this thing onto anything that you need a light for – it’s even got magnetic feet.  I have a version of the GorillaPod for my camera while I’m in Sweden, and it’s one of the best gadgets for the camera bag.  Strong, sturdy, and actually quite amazing.

Amazon has the GorillaTorch available for pre-order for $29.95 – it gets shipped on September 28, 2009.  I love it!




Wybron’s Mechanical Dimmer/Douser Iris and Shutter Units

What’s the number one issue you can think of when it comes to using big ol’ mercury vapor and sodium vapor fixtures in places like arenas and convention centers?  I am not looking for “they make my girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife look like crap,” in case you were wondering…

You can’t dim them! Until now!


Colorado company Wybron (you know, the color scroller peeps) have released some awesome products geared towards solving the problem of giving the big off/on HID fixtures used for general wide-area illumination some control.  Now, it’s really not geared JUST for the big general illumination sources – we’re talking about ANY arc source that needs intensity control – Source Four HIDs, film and TV HIDs – anything that doesn’t have dimming/dousing control can now have the luxury.  Wybron also manufactures a shutter unit that fits nearly all entertainment and film fixtures to give the HIDs more control over intensity.

The mechanical dimmer/douser and iris units also have the InfoTrace technology from Wybron so you can get updates on what’s going on with the gear, and troubleshoot accordingly.  Also, no dipswitches – remote addressing!

The Eclipse Iris:


The Eclipse Shutter:


From the product page for Wybron’s product page on the dimmer/douser unit:

The Eclipse IT Iris, a motorized iris dowser, fits nearly every sports, theatrical, and film lighting fixture. For arc source fixtures that can’t be dimmed electrically, using a mechanical dimmer like the Eclipse Iris is the only option.

Lighting legend George Izenour designed the mechanism for NBC more than 50 years ago, and Wybron later added modern coatings and DMX control to the strikingly innovative design.

The configuration of the Eclipse Iris provides incredibly smooth transitions from open to closed, and when it’s fully open, no fins block the field of the luminaire.

The InfoTrace technology gives the user a ridiculously awesome amount of information about the equipment in the InfoTrace system – for example:

  • Know the condition of equipment before, during, and after a show
  • Remotely set DMX addresses from the safety of the deck – no more setting DIP switches manually
  • Immediately receive an alert if a lamp goes out
  • Track lamp duty cycles to predict lamp failure
  • Predict maintenance on equipment

The mechanical dimmer/douser units also have a wide range of sensors:

  • Unit Temperature Sensor: Measures and reports the temperature within the center panel.
  • Voltage Sensor: Reports the fixture’s voltage level.
  • Pass Through Current Sensor: Measures the electrical current passing through the XLR connector wiring harness.
  • Unit Current Sensor: Measures the amount of current a unit consumes.
  • Timers: Tracks how many hours the unit has been operating since its last maintenance cycle.
  • Fan RPM Sensor: Monitors fan.
  • Aperture Light Sensor: Detects if the fixture’s lamp is on.
  • Self Test Mode: Mode that moves the gelstring without any DMX input command.
  • Reverse Polarity Protection: Shuts down automatically if scroller is plugged into a Coloram II power supply.

Okay, this is awesome.  Architectural lighting designers as well as entertainment lighting designers, are you paying attention?

Check out the Eclipse IT Mechanical Dimmer/Douser Iris and the Eclipse IT Shutter from Wybron.

Thanks, Jennifer!

SEACHANGER Color Engine for Profile Spots

If you’ve ever tried to mix deep primaries with color filters, then you know how much of a pain in the rear it can be – until the SeaChanger came along.  The SeaChanger color engine is a device that modifies your Source Four ERS units into color changing spot fixtures with CMY/G mixing capabilities.

CMY/G, you say?  Yeah.  Green.  Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and a patented “Extreme Green” dichroic that adds the ability to mix deep hues, add subtleties to colors, and create looks that aren’t possible with color scrollers and faders.  Dichroic filters are utilized inside the unit, which are glass, so the colors don’t fade – and the need for cooling fans doesn’t exist, so the unit is silent as well.

SeaChangers are capable of all of the standard ETC beam spaing tools as well, so you can add gobos, irises, gobo rotators, gobo changers, etc to the unit.

Check out the product page.  I’ve used these only a few times, but every time I discover something else I love about them.