Introducing Triggertrap Mobile

A lot of you have been following the progress of our illustrious first two products carefully; The Triggertrap v1 and Triggertrap Shield for Arduino have been crawling their way through to production, baby-step by baby-step.

So, what's this all about?

At Triggertrap Towers, we're not very patient people, and so whilst the slow machinery of manufacturing was rolling gently along, we had an idea...

"Hey", we said. "Wouldn't it be awesome if the Triggertrap were an iPhone app?"

And so, before the Kickstarter project had even rolled to a finish, we started kicking around some ideas for what a mobile phone version of the Triggertrap might be. Whenever we had a bit of downtime from building Triggertrap prototypes, our thoughts would return to that little spark of an idea.

When I spoke to my good friend Matt, who is a ridiculously talented developer, he said 'Why the hell not'. And, since I had never thought of it that way before, we started doing some tests here and there. When the tests started working, we did more tests. Then we built a prototype. And then, when the prototype started taking shape, we found a designer. And then... Well, we figured we may as well see how far we could take it.

And so we created a huge list of cool features we would like to see in the app. And we started adding them.

A video introduction

Press play. You know you want to. It takes less than 2 minutes to watch, and it's pretty, too!

So, what does Triggertrap Mobile do?

The Triggertrap Mobile uses a large number of the sensors built into Apple's iOS devices, giving you an unprecedented number of options for triggering your camera.

You can use the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle to connect most SLR and some compact cameras to your iPhone, or (for some of the triggering modes) you can use the built-in camera.

At launch, the Triggertrap Mobile has a dozen (Count 'em! 12!) different triggering modes, and we have tons of ideas for additional modes, too. For full details, see the Triggertrap Mobile product page, but for now, some of the ones we are most excited about are:

  • Distance-lapse (Like time-lapse, but takes a photo for every X meters traveled)
  • Eased Timelapse (Like time-lapse, but with 5 different acceleration profiles built-in, making it appear as if time 'slows down' and 'speeds up' at the beginnings and ends of your timelapse sets)
  • Facial Recognition ("Trigger when 3 faces are visible in the picture")
  • Magnetic sensor (Like the alarm sensors on doors and windows)
  • HDR mode (up to 19-bracket HDR sets with configurable EV steps)
  • Sun rise calculator (calculates the precise time until sunset and sunrise based on your current location)

Of course, we also have loads of the 'obvious' features too, like regular timelapse, sound sensors, HDR modes, HDR timelapse, motion sensors, and loads more.

How is Triggertrap Mobile different from the other triggertraps?

The biggest difference is that Triggertrap v1 and Triggertrap Shield for Arduino are fast. Really fast. Rather ludicrously fast. When we tried using them as a 'slave flash', it turns out that, they can trigger in less than 1.5 milliseconds. That's 0.0015 seconds.

Now, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod are pretty fast devices in their own right, but they aren't millisecond-fast.

The Triggertrap Mobile is still pretty fast, but - as you can see from the built-in features - it is aimed more at the casual photographer who wants fun and innovative ways of hacking their camera, rather than at the hard-core, high-speed studio photographers.

The other big difference is that the Triggertrap v1 and Triggertrap Shield for Arduino are completely open-source; you can download the software for them from Github, and you can hack the code to your heart's content. You can add new features, you can remove other features... If you can dream it, you can do it. So: If you want to hack or do high-speed photography, the hardware-based Triggertraps are the way forward.

Free version

In addition to the $9.99 (or local equivalent) premium version of the application, Triggertrap is also releasing Triggertrap Free, which is available as a trial version.

The Free app includes three full modes from the Premium version of the app: Cable Release mode, Timelapse, and the Seismic mode, which uses the iPhone's acceleration sensors to trigger the camera based on vibrations, bumps, or knocks.

What do I need to use the Triggertrap Mobile?

  • iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) capable of running iOS 5 or better
  • The Triggertrap Mobile app, for sale via the App Store
  • or: The Triggertrap Free app, available for free on the App Store
  • Triggertrap Mobile Dongle* (for sale here)
  • Camera Connection cable* specific to your camera - Loads of different cameras are supported.

*) Well, technically, you don't need the Mobile Dongle or Connection Cable in order to use the app, but it's certainly a hell of a lot more fun to be able to use your SLR or advanced compact camera, than it is to be forced to use only the internal camera.