Pivo: the Swiss Army knife for mobile photographers and videographers

It’s a smart pod that can enable anyone with a smartphone to create videos, images and animated GIFs in an easy and affordable way. Meet Pivo, now on Kickstarter.

Pivo: the Swiss Army knife for mobile photographers

With a dozen camera features to create videos and photos, Pivo is more than a new accessory for mobile photographers: it’s a true Swiss Army knife to take your smartphone photography to a new level!

When you first look at Pivo you imagine all the other similar accessories that allow your camera to rotate, to take, for example, 360 panoramas. Yes Pivo does offer that option, a rotating head that allows your smartphone to rotate. Now, you’re thinking, being a DIY person, that with some time to spare you can do the same with one of those kitchen timers transformed into panoramic heads for photography.

Pivo: the Swiss Army knife for mobile photographers

Well, Pivo does rotate the head, what is not so revolutionary, but it also offers tilt angles, meaning it does a new trick that no kitchen timer does. So there is one reason to check this new product now making it to Kickstarter. In fact, there is a dozen more reasons to include Pivo in your kit bag if you want to take your mobile photography and videography to a new level.

Pivo: the Swiss Army knife for mobile photographers

Pivo, a quest started in 2014

Pivo was presented at the London Design Fair 2018, the Mobile World Congress 2018 and TechCrunch Disrupt 2018, where it was very well received. In a world where companies, from Apple to Samsung, Huawey or Xiaomi invest millions of dollars each year into their smartphone hadrware and software, and more and more cameras and lenses, the ways by which users interact with their phones have largely remained the same. Pivo seeks to change that in a big way, as the team is fully aware that “the smartphone industry has completely changed the digital camera landscape” but there is a need for accessories that expand the options available. Or, as I would call Pivo, a Swiss Army knife.

The quest for Pivo started in August 2014, when a photographer frustrated by what he considered were available, expensive solutions, turned inventor. With a kitchen timer and selfie stick glued together, the first prototype was built. It worked, but it took the team until January 2016 to get a second working prototype, with more robust hardware and a dedicated mobile app. By May 2017, a third prototype was available and 360 enthusiastas were beta testing the Pivo, as the team looked for a manufacturer.

Pivo: the Swiss Army knife for mobile photographers

Used in ways we never imagined

Pivo made it to the market in June 2017 but the team was not happy and wanted the product to be better. They looked for another manufacturer “that could meet our high standards”. By September that same year they had a solution, and in November, with 993 units packed and ready to go, the team shipped Pivo to 800 international VR enthusiasts who started and continue to create scenes that helped to speed up development.

April this year, after discovering that Pivo was being used in ways “we could not have imagined”, the team felt inpired and got to work, adding new features like motion tracking, voice activation and more. Year after year, the initial goal – to build a smart pod that can enable anyone with a smartphone to create highly dynamic interactive videos, images and GIFs in an easy and affordable way – grew to turn reality.

Fully aware that “professional photography budgets were out of the question for everyday content creators” but believing that “everybody deserved access to create professional quality contents”, the team aims to unlock the full potential of smartphone cameras. That’s what Pivo is all about. To say that Pivo is just a smartphone accessory would be a huge understatement. That’s because Pivo has over 12 features integrated into its hardware and software to help unlock truly creative content creation that is dynamic, engaging and emotional. Here are a list of the fertures that make Pivo unique:

Pivo: the Swiss Army knife for mobile photographers

9 Quick Create Modes

  • 1 – Versus mode automatically pans back and forth between two subjects to easily create a rap-battle like video or gif!
  • 2 – 50/50 is half video and half photo. First take a photo, then pivo will pivot just enough to give you room for a seamless video. Essentially a super easy cinemagraph!
  • 3 – DoubleTake is an easy way to generate meme-ready gifs or video to tell a story in seconds.
  • 4 – ManyMe lets users be a part of the panorama over and over again. Take a panoramic photo all around pivo then let Pivo clone you and your friends into one image.
  • 5 – Capture mode packs smart features like “Smartcapture” to interact with Pivo with your voice or gesture.
  • 6 – Motion Timelapse makes the most dynamic timelapse possible from a mobile. Let Pivo capture a video in 360, 180 or 120 degrees and create a timelapse to show the world passing across a panorama.
  • 7 – Panorama is a feature that Pivo was originally designed to create. Automated capturing and rotation means professional quality panoramas taken easily from a mobile. No more unnatural photo stitching with duplicate heads or missing arms.
  • 8 – Flash can blur two videos together. Play catch with yourself or become a superhero with Pivo.
  • 9 – TinyPlanet on a mobile device has never been so simple. No need for expensive hardware or software like photoshop to create tiny planet images.

2 Auto-Follow Modes

  • 1 – Facefollow can detect your face and follow users around like your personal cameraman.
  • 2 – Object Tracking can help users create even more dynamic contents flexibly by tracking things like vehicles.

30+ Multistream Platforms

1 – Restream and Pivo have partnered up to give users access to over 30 of the top live streaming platforms. Not only this but users can multistream across these platforms while using pivo’s interactive features like Facefollow.

3 Add-ons

  1. 360 Product Turntable takes full advantage of Pivo’s rotating capabilities by transforming it into a 360 turntable for product photography or GIF creation.
  2. Lightbox turns any ordinary workstation into a product studio.
  3. GoPro Kit gives GoPro access to the flexibility and creative features of Pivo.


Pivo: the Swiss Army knife for mobile photographers

Pivo is now on Kickstarter

The add-ons expand what is possible to achieve with Pivo, and users also get an alternate rotating head which allows any smartphone to not only rotate, but tilt angles. An included remote control also gives users greater control, For serious flexibility, the team behind Pivo have developed their app to be open source so users can decide how they want it to work for them. An open source SDK for app development on both android and iOS guarantees that the magic of the accessory is accessible to everyone who wants to code for this Swiss Army knife. As the team behind the product says, “we are a company born out of the need to create, and work to unlock the full creative potential for all smartphone photography and videography.”

Pivo launched today on Kickstarter with an exclusive rate for the first 48 hours of the campaign. Afterwards, rewards will range from $79 to $110. Pivo is expected to retail for $138 which includes the Pivo body, the app, an adjustment head, a remote and a travel case. The initial reception suggests the project will be funded quickly. A total of 86 backers pledged $ 12,050 of the $25,000 goal, and there are still 57 days to go.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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