Will.i.am Makes an iPhone into a 14 MP “Genius Phone” with i.am+

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Singer, musician, creative tech genius—and Intel’s Director of Creative Innovation—Will.i.am thinks his soon-to-be launched i.am+ iPhone camera attachment will be what can make your iPhone into a much better camera. And he’s done it all with Apple’s blessing.

Due to be unveiled on November 28th (next Wednesday) in London, this new dock/accessory device will employ its own sensor and flash to push the built-in hardware to 14MP:

The first product from his new consumer electronics and app venture i.am+ is an accessory that clips onto an iPhone and transforms the eight megapixel smartphone camera into a 14 megapixel camera, which it is claimed dramatically enhances the clarity and definition of your photographs. Speaking exclusively to The Daily Telegraph, he says: ‘We have our own sensor and a better flash. You dock you phone into our device and it turns you smartphone into a genius-phone. We take over the camera.’
From: Will.i.am’s iPhone accessories to ‘turn smartphones into genius phones’ – Telegraph

Assumedly since Apple granted Will.i.am a dev license, we’ll see a 30-pin and Lightning version of the device when it launches. While I think the device idea is great, sign me up now, I’m a little hesitant about yet another camera app on my phone. Maybe, though, like the Pogo Connect, others can license an API to tap into so maybe apps like Camera+ or Blux Camera can take advantage of the i.am+ as well. Since this is just the start of Will.i.am’s device line, I wouldn’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen:

Apple has granted i.am+ a development licence to produce and sell the camera accessory and camera app for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, but Will.i.am says that a larger range of tech hardware will follow.

With the device let to launch next week and be available to UK shoppers in early December (and hopefully other places soon afterward) we’ll update you on the details.

The debut series of i.am+ camera accessories will be officially launched at a press conference in London on Wednesday 28 November. Selfridges will sell the products exclusively from early December.

Here are my thoughts on some things I’d hope to see in the i.am+:

  • Nice replacement for a case or at least easy on-easy off. I like my Olloclip, but I hate having to pop my phone out if its case to use it.
  • Tripod mount. It’s a little detail that could make a use difference if you want to take advantage of 14MP worth of oomph
  • Flash filters. I have diffusers for my Nikon flash and ofter use a paper napkin or piece of semi-transparent tape to diffuse camera flashes. It would be great if we could do the same on the i.am+
  • Simple, clean, no bling design. The picture above is supposed to be Will.i.am holding a i.am+. I really hope it doesn’t look like that.
  • Around $100. Tech is expensive. Great photography tools are expensive (I had a few lenses worth more than the camera body I was shooting with), but to catch on (like the Olloclip did) you need to make it something that people don’t wonder if they should just buy a decent point-n-shoot instead.
What are your thoughts? And no beaming them in as a hologram!

HT: Slashgear

Photo from Getty Images

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