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This Hackable, WIFI-Enabled Camera Is Here To Revolutionize GIF-Making

With a hand crank that allows users to create GIFs one frame at a time, the Raspberry Pi-powered OTTO camera is a must-have for motion picture enthusiasts.

Just last night, I was talking to friends about how my favorite thing about the future is that eventually—barring meteors crashing into us or a solar flare that cripples all electronic technology—an affordable technology will arise to assist in the production of, well, anything you can dream of. Smartphones? Check. Smart cameras? Check. An app that hails taxis almost instantly? Triple check.

Today? The inventors and tinkerers at Oakland-based hardware and software creative labs Next Thing Co. are Kickstarting OTTO, a smartphone-enabled GIF-making camera that allows users to create GIFs one frame at a time, add image effects, and instantly share their creations on the web. It's called OTTO, Polaroid Socialmatic, eat your heart out. 

From OTTO's Kickstarter page

OTTO was built because we love traditional cameras -- the kind people half-jokingly refer to as “real” cameras -- Leicas, Rolleiflex, Voigtlander, and especially the humble Holga. We love the feeling of holding an old rangefinder camera and shooting in the middle of a crowded street or way out on a desolate trail. The way those cameras fit in your hand, their sturdy feel and carryable size all lead to an unyielding urge to get out there, explore, and shoot more photos! 

At the end of the day it’s really that feeling we love more than any particular camera, so we designed OTTO to be the camera that you want to grab and shoot with. OTTO is a “real” camera that does all the things your phone camera does, all the things you *wish* your other cameras could do, and tons of things you never even expected. We hope you’ll love it as much as we do.

Not sure if it works? Here's an early timelapse GIF made with OTTO:

Here's how simple OTTO is to use: 

...And here are some equally impressive specs: 

OTTO even enables users to control, modify, and share their creations using synced smartphone capabilities:

The open-sourced OTTO software already has a number of ever Insta-worthy image modes:

And its own app, to boot:

Need more functionality? Wire your Raspberry Pi-enabled OTTO up to Arduino-enabled hardware, like the "FlashyFlash" circuit board below, and with a bit of techno-magic, your GIF creations will be ever-more mutable. Below, the results of FlashyFlash, when combined with an algorithm that syncs color saturation to ambient volume:

Oh, and did we mention it's open-sourced? Says Next Thing Co., "When even bolt-on hardware won’t get you where you want to go, OTTO is ready for adventure. Using the OTTO SDK, you can modify every bit of OTTO’s software. Recompile the kernel, load it up with additional Linux packages, or just peek under the hood and see how it all works.

OTTO’s hardware is similarly built to be modified and explored by the adventurous, with full documentation and Eagle files available. OTTO is the only camera built from the ground up with hackability in mind!"

This thing is by inventors, for the inventive. And we are totally buying one.

Click here to contribute to OTTO's Kickstarter campaign, and to get your hands on the first line of these GIF-revolutionizing devices when they ship (expected December 2014). 

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