The flash on the iPhone is a notoriously unflattering beast. It throws out harsh shadows, crazy colour casts, and can leave your photos looking less than beautiful. The flash on the iPhone 5s has seen some improvements, but plenty of people aren't using a 5s and even then, it could still be better. There are a few ways of getting around the terror of terrible flash. Only last week I found myself lighting Einstein the hamster with the torch app on my phone while my brother's housemate's girlfriend (got that?) took a photo with her smartphone. Or you can buy yourself an add-on flash from numerous sources. They work well, but they're something else that needs to be carried around in a bag or pocket, something to be forgotten or dropped or just have to be schlepped. Wouldn't an iPhone case with an integrated light source be better?
That's exactly what Brick and Pixel has developed with its Lightstrap. It's looking to bring it to the masses with the help of Kickstarter.
The Lightstrap slots over an iPhone similarly to a protective case, but offers you a temperature-controlled and brightness adjustable ring light. The ring light should give flattering shadows and avoid the curse of evil red-eye, the brightness adjustment should stop you blowing out your background, and the six temperature options will help to prevent colour casts that make everything look wrong.
You won't drain your phone's battery using the Lightstrap; it charges independently via a micro USB cable. You can expect about 500 flashes or 30 minutes of video recording time from one charge. Unfortunately for people like me who are still kicking about with an iPhone 4 or 4s or have gone for the colourful 5c choice, the Lightstrap won't be of any use. It's only iPhone 5 and 5s compataible, which is a shame given that there's still a sizeable chunk of us still using older models, and we'd definitely benefit from some advanced flash assistance.
Brick and Pixel needs to raise $245,000 by 3 January 2014 to bring the Lightstrap into production. Pledge sums start at $87 to lay your hands on an early adopter model. What do you reckon? Worth the outlay? If you think so, the Lightstrap's Kickstarter page is here.