The Carson Universal connects smartphones to almost any optical device. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — Your iPhone captures great imagery, but sometimes the built-in zoom just isn’t enough. An ingenious gadget that quickly connects smartphones to almost any optical device gives your everyday camera superpowers.
The Carson Universal is an incredibly simple idea, but it delivers some pretty astonishing results. You can use it to connect your smartphone to telescopes, binoculars, microscopes, spotting scopes or almost any other optical device with a rounded eyepiece. Instead of buying a specialized, device-specific adapter, it’s a one-size-fits-all optical attachment.
“It kind of opens up the possibilities,” said Michelle Hyers, the engineer who designed the Carson Universal.
Going gear-shopping for your favorite outdoors-loving friend or family member can be harder than trekking up Mount St. Helens as she’s about to blow. There are so many options, but so much crap.
To help you out with your holiday shopping, Cult of Mac waded through the endless lists of camping and hiking gear and gadgets to find the stuff your special someone will love.
Whether you’re looking for something for an adventuring buddy, or picking a present for someone you’d never want to be trapped in a tent with, we’ve found gifts for everyone. From hiking clothes to campsite gadgets, we’ve got you covered.
The wrist strap is the best part of the Snappgrip. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
The Snappgrip is a fantastic idea, with not-too-bad hardware to back it up. It’s an accessory grip for your iPhone that adds a Bluetooth shutter release, zoom buttons and control dial to the phone’s camera, as well as a wrist strap and a handy handgrip.
But in practice, you’ll be better off with the iPhone’s own volume switches if you want a hardware shutter release. Which is a shame, as I was super-excited to try the Snappgrip out.