Here on Fstoppers, smartphones sometimes get a bad rap as cameras. However, when used to capture the after effects of a glitter/fart bomb package launched on unsuspecting gift thieves, these devices provide a clear advantage.
Former NASA engineer Mark Rober was tired of thieves stealing packages off his front porch. After he tried to report the incidents to police, he pretty much got nowhere. They thought the crime too small to investigate. This is where Rober’s engineering chops come into play.
Rober created a trap for thieves using an Apple HomePod box that contained anything but. He created and programmed a device to launch glitter at those who purloined the box, and then for added effect, launched a fart spray attack. That would have been enough, but he wanted to see the results. That’s where the phone cameras come in.
He correctly pointed out that something such as the Canon Powershot in his hand wouldn’t have worked for this application. There’s no GPS, no way to tell where the camera was after this incident. The lenses might not have also been wide enough. Charging would be an issue.
Instead, Rober rigs up four of what appear to be LG smartphones that record the thief through little windows he cut out on the package, and then, once the cover is opened, sees all angles of the attack and subsequent outrage from the victims.
From a photographic perspective, it’s amazing one of the most viral videos of the year came not from images made with a big camera manufacturer or even one of the newer 360 camera makers. It’s primarily based on security camera footage and a cheap Android-based phone.
If anything, it shows how far camera manufacturers have to go to add connectivity and more options to their cameras. In short, make their cameras more like phones that people can more easily repurpose into amazing gags such as this one.