A camera chassis for the iPhone. Swap lenses. Add accessories. Create your custom iPhone photography or video setup, easily.
About this project
The Helium Core is a pocket-sized, sturdy aluminum chassis that lets you easily add lenses or filters, and accessories such as flashes, lights and microphones to your iPhone. It has amore ergonomic grip and multiple mounting points for a tripod, while allowing access to the display, switches, buttons, jacks and ports on your iPhone.
With the Helium Core, you can customize your iPhone and set it up as a filmmaking camera, aphotography camera, a mobile journalism rig, a live broadcasting setup, or a vlogging rig. Its durable design and ability to let you flexibly place accessories on it makes it a solid foundation for your iPhone-based camera system, all in a pocket-sized design.
The Helium Core makes your iPhone more comfortable to hold in your hands by giving you something more substantial to grab onto. Its curved surfaces were designed for both aesthetic and ergonomic reasons.
The numerous industry-standard, 1/4″-20 mounting points allow you to mount and position your iPhone camera system in creative ways.
Some of the creatives who’ve told us how the Core will expand their creativity include:
- iPhone-specific designs to ensure precise fit (iPhone 6/6s and 6 Plus/6s Plus)
- 6061-T6, aircraft-grade aluminum for strength and durability
- Multiple 1/4″-20 mounting points, located on all 4 sides (16 on the Core and 17 on the Core+)
- Integrated lens mount fits 37mm threaded lenses, and other lenses, with adapters
- Axis of the tripod mount is aligned with the center of the lens
- Direct access to all jacks, switches, buttons and ports
- Curved walls aid ergonomics
- Cutouts reduce weight, without sacrificing strength
- Anodized finish for aesthetics and to increase corrosion and wear resistance
Brandon, one of two members of our team, is a professional photographer and filmmaker. A couple of years ago, he found himself using his iPhone more than his pro-grade equipment for non-commercial work, primarily because of its small size and light weight.
As much as he enjoyed using the iPhone, he found it limiting. He wanted to add lenses and other accessories to improve the iPhone’s capabilities as a camera. He also wanted a solution that maintained a compact form factor, provided mechanical strength and reliability, and allowed him to continue using the iPhone as a smartphone.
He didn’t find anything that fit his needs, so he leveraged his engineering background and product development experience to produce the product that he believed would best fit the needs of demanding creatives. The Helium Core is the result of that effort.
The Helium Core team is made up of two people, Brandon and Walt.
Brandon has been a full-time professional photographer and filmmaker for 5 years, has supported a number of Kickstarter campaigns, and even made a Kickstarter video for a brewery’s successful campaign. Prior to his pursuit of a creative career, he worked in engineering and product development. At his last corporate gig, he was a product manager at Lenovo, where he successfully brought 6 notebook products with combined sales of over USD4 billion to market.
Walt has been designing and manufacturing products successfully for over 30 years, and has designed rocket engines, jet engine components, and turbochargers, for companies such as Boeing, Pratt & Whitney and Borg Warner.
Between them, they have a wealth of experience in the design, development, manufacture and go-to market launch of products. This experience enables them to understand and plan for the challenges typically associated with projects such as this one.
The design is complete, we’ve got manufacturing quotes and have selected our supplier. Now, we’re asking you for your help to bring this product to the market.
The Helium Core has been a labor of love that Brandon and his incredibly supportive wife self-funded before Walt joined the team. We’re at a point where we need your help to raise money for the tooling, the packaging design, and for the first production run.
Here’s what to do if you want to make a new pledge, and want to add one or more of these add-on items:
Make the pledge for the reward level that you’re pledging to and submit it. Follow the instructions IMPORTANT: Please send us a message once you’ve made your pledge and list the add-ons that you paid for. Otherwise, it would be difficult for us to figure out what else you ordered.
If you’ve already backed us, you will not lose your original pledge level. You just need to add the price of the add-on to your existing pledge to get it. Here’s what to do if you’ve already backed us and want to add one or more of these add-on items:
- Click on “Manage” under the “You’re a backer!” badge on the top right of the campaign page.
- Click on “Change your pledge”
- Add up the price of all the add-ons that you’d like to purchase and add that total to your original pledge.
- For example, if you were a mega-early bird backer of the Helium Core+ in the United States, your original pledge would be $104 ($99 + $ shipping). To add a high quality LED light, you would add $55 to the original pledge of $104, and your new pledge amount would be $159. To add a combo wide angle /macro lens and a high quality LED light, you would add $40 for the lens and $55 for the LED light, to the original total of $104 to get a total of $199.
- Click “Continue” and “Confirm”
- IMPORTANT: Please send us a message once you’ve updated your pledge to list the add-ons that you paid for. Otherwise, it would be difficult for us to figure out what else you ordered.
Kickstarter has an “All-Or-Nothing” rule. It means that if we don’t reach the funding goal, your money will stay in your bank account untouched. But we hope that you share our enthusiasm, and together, we’ll make this project a big success story!
Also, if you want to pledge at a more than one level, choose one reward first. Then, you can manage your pledge by adding funds equal to another desirable reward. After the end of the campaign, we will send everybody a survey to make sure you get everything you paid for. If you’re still confused, feel free to use the “Contact me” tab, and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process.
Risks and challenges
Balancing manufacturing and shipping deadlines with adherence to high standards of quality will be our most critical task. Fortunately, we have a pre-existing relationship with the factory where the Helium Core will be produced. While there are still risks, we’ve done as much as we can to reduce or eliminate the common ones, and we will keep you informed and updated of any challenges that come up along the way.