Kickstarter is constantly awash with strange gadgets and peculiar gizmos. Some manage to see the light of day, whereas others fail to materialize, even if they get funded. The OKO viewfinder promises to help up your smartphone photography game while not at all making you look stupid. It’s like a photographer’s VR headset.
The OKO is exactly what it looks like. There’s no moving parts. No apps. It doesn’t even use power. It’s a foldable goggle that supposedly turns most decently-specced smartphones currently on the market into less point-and-shoot devices and more look-and-shoot; if that’s the term we’re going with.
Going live on Kickstarter a few days ago and asking for just over £15,000 to go into production, the OKO is already fully funded with anything pledged thereafter basically just being discounted early bird sales.
First impressions of the product are likely to be met with skepticism, but the sales pitch actually makes a decent amount of sense if you can ignore the fashion faux pas.
Housing your phone in the OKO setup shields it from sunlight, avoiding any screen glare you might come across when trying to take a shot in the heat. It’s collapsible frame means it isn’t anywhere near as bulky as it might look in use – although you’re still going to look like a silly tourist whenever you pop it up.
But it’s main quality is in how it’s used. You pop it open, slide your smartphone in and hold it to your face. The whole get-up promises a clearer view of your composition, and should passively make for a more stable shot. These points are all fairly important when taking a still shot, but it’s video that we see this thing making a big difference with. After all, there’s no disconnect between what you see and what the camera sees when it’s practically glued to your eyeballs.
But what’s it going to cost you? That depends. You can grab the OKO itself for around 39 bucks if you’re fast. Otherwise, it slips to a more modest $89 at retail. But if you’re looking for the case, strap, and a bunch of the clip-on lenses you’ll see in the video, you’re looking at a maximum of $160 before the discount period ends. Just be careful with those lenses; you can clearly see them slide in the video.