Accessories for the iPhone have typically been limited to skins, cases, and other protective gear. With the introduction of front and back cameras, items such as lenses have occassionally popped up. The iPhone 4 has been used successfully as a digital microscope as well as an astrophotographic imager. A few years ago, a Japanese company called Digital King created a fisheye lens for the iPhone. It met with limited success. Recently, a company call Pixeet rebranded the lens under its own name, added a case and some free software, and bundled it into a much more compelling offering.
The Pixeet Panorama Kit consists of a 180º fisheye lens, a silicone case, and some misc bits (mounts for other phones, lens retaining cord). The fisheye lens is well constructed of aluminum and glass. It attaches to the case using magnets. This approach is pretty clever as it enables the lens to be easily mounted and removed. It will also let us mount the lens on other cases just by adding a washer-like metal mount.
Good thing it is so easy to attach and remove the Pixeet lens because, small as it is, the Pixeet lens is obviously not something we would leave on the iPhone when we are not using it. We will have to figure something out for storage and transport. It will probably involve an Otterbox case 🙂
We grabbed a few quick pics just to get a sense of the quality of the images. They were quite excellent. Photos taken with the iPhone’s native Camera App shows the typical circular image of a fisheye lens. The compelling part of the Pixeet’s package is that the free Pixeet app will unwarp the image and use it to create a panorama. The software will also guide you in the creation of an immersive 360º VR image. We’ll have more on the software’s capabilities in our FirstUse report. Look for it in October.