Camera traps are a mainstay of wildlife photography: The photographer sets up his camera with a specialized trigger that snaps the photo when it senses movement or body heat from an approaching animal. But why should National Geographic have all the fun? TriggerTrap is a Kickstarter-funded “universal camera trigger” packed with sensors that allow you to set up all kinds of interesting events to trigger a snapshot, and you don’t need a fancy high-end camera to use it (although nearly every camera in creation seems to be supported).
Inside TriggerTrap’s geek-chic red exterior lies an array of sensors for light (including laser light) and sound. Much like Twine, the idea behind TriggerTrap is to use these sensors to “program” simple events which result in a photo being taken. For example, you could use TriggerTrap’s laser-light sensor take finish-line photos of marathoners: set the laser pointer on one side of the finish line, pointing at the TriggerTrap (which is connected to the camera). Whenever the laser beam is broken by a runner, the device triggers the camera to take a photo-finish snapshot. Or if lasers aren’t your thing, here’s an example using the sound sensor:
It all sounds almost unbearably geeky, which makes TriggerTrap’s cheeky retro product design an essential part of the user experience. Yes, there are tons of Arduino-loving hackers out there who’d be happy to use a lumpen-looking box held together with spit and baling wire. But wrapping the TriggerTrap in a candy-red package with large, icon-like buttons allows it to look respectably geeky (dig those visible screws!) and touchably unintimidating at the same time. It’s all about crossover appeal, which is what anything involving hacking or programming desperately needs in order to catch on outside the Make Magazine set. And catch on it most certainly should. Bending technology in creative ways should be something that anyone can do, not just those of us who are handy with a soldering iron. Kudos to TriggerTrap’s creators for designing a “hacker” product that aims for mass appeal.