Is it a stills camera? No. Is it a video camera? No. Is it something between the two? Correctamundo! The OTTO is a “Hackable GIF Camera” that uses a Raspberry Pi brain to make animated GIF pictures.
It looks like a toy, but inside OTTO is the brain of a, uh, fun-loving computer. To use it, you just crank the lever on top to record a series of photos, then turn the crank back one revolution to have the resulting GIF sent direct to your iPhone.
What’s more, you can drop in many “modes,” which is secret code for tiny apps that run on the Raspberry Pi computer inside and let you do pretty much anything you want. The Kickstarter campaign page lists “GIFs, time lapses, impromptu photo booths, or something brand new” as options, and that’s the point. Just like your iPhone can become any camera you like by installing new apps, so can the OTTO.
And better than any other standalone camera around, the OTTO can actually be tweaked and programmed direct from your iPhone using a neat and nicely-designed app. There are extra circuit boards that you can plug into the top of Your OTTO to add further hardware functionality.
How much for this amazing little hacking project? Just $200, which is cheaper than a decent compact camera, and way more fun. You can pitch on the Kickstarter right now.