It has never been easier to turn your life into a series of infinitely looping videos. OTTO, a retro-chic camera designed by Oakland-based studio Next Thing Co., lets you make instant animated GIFs via a hand-crank on the camera’s top. After recording a GIF, the OTTO then automatically sends it to your smartphone.
Currently being funded on Kickstarter, OTTO also takes time lapses, photo booth-style images, and more. These different modes are controlled through the camera’s companion app, and you can even generate your own mode, too. (Tiny image-making apps exist within the larger app.) "Every part of OTTO is made so you can tweak, extend, and hack it," the designers say on the product's Kickstarter page. "OTTO was designed for experimentation." A USB plug lets you add different hardware functions to the camera, such as FlashyFlash, an Arduino-powered flashbulb. FlashyFlash is equipped with robotic vision, and can be programmed to detect moments that are hard to capture precisely with a typical point-and-shoot, like an epic high-five.
Making GIFs from video usually requires either a GIF-making app like GifBrewery or online software like MakeAGif. It’s not difficult, but for the tech-averse, it can seem a little confusing. OTTO’s designers, Thomas Deckert, Dave Rauchwerk, and Gustavo Huber, who collaborated on the project in San Francisco’s HAXLR8R hardware accelerator program, bill it as the first product to turn a traditional camera into a GIF-maker. It’s also the first commercial product built on the Raspberry Pi.
OTTO goes for $199 a pop (or $149 for early buyers) on Kickstarter. It ships in December.