Seeing that a lot of us have replaced "point'n'shoots" with smartphones, we might find ourselves missing on having an optical zoom option. It was through this need that Snapzoom was created. It's a universal binocular mount for smartphones, meaning it fits a wide variety of both phones and binoculars. The project got started when co-founders Daniel Fujikake and Mac Nguyen started using their own smartphones to document their surf adventures from the, at the time, completely DIY, garage-made mounting device. Other surfers asked them about it every time they went out, so they partnered up with a professional designer to form Hi Resolution Enterprises and build a proper prototype using 3D-printed materials.
Daniel and Mac used Kickstarter to fund a production run for Snapzoom, which has already blown past its $55,000 goal in just over a week. "The funding will help the two turn the 3D printed prototype into a glass-filled nylon injection molded retail product, which the company hopes to manufacture both in the U.S. and overseas."
Already, before even closing its Kickstarter funding, Snapzoom has had a lot of interest from well-placed retail partners, including U.S. camera equipment and accessory retailer B&H Photo. Based on funding interest and prospective retail partner enthusiasm, the team seems to have tapped a strong, unaddressed consumer desire, even if it is a bit niche. And it’s not just voyeurs who are interested; this is great for nature photography and action sports, too.
Snapzoom is looking to ship in September, with the retail price for the mount expected to be around $79.99, though current pre-order backers on Kickstarter can get one for just $70. The team is working on stretch goals now, since it has already earned almost $10,000 more than its original goal. What do you think of the idea?