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NUS startup Ladibird might be the future of camera; represented Singapore at CES

One of the biggest conference in consumer electronics is CES, a global consumer technology tradeshow that takes place every January in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Numerous successful products that have debuted at CES include Microsoft’s XBox, Blu Ray Disc, Android’s Honeycomb, Microsoft Avatar Kinect, driverless car technology and many more.

For most of us, we probably won’t have the opportunity to attend the event, but for Singapore based aKu, they recently represented Singapore and showcased their product at the global event.

aKu is developing Ladibird, which aims to turn your normal iPhones into portrait cameras. Ladibird comprises a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and a large CMOS sensor, and can be easily slided over any iPhone.  It slides on like a battery case, and has a single button for taking photos – the rest is all handled by the companion iPhone app.

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Ladibird is developed by three University of Singapore graduates, whom are currently based at PGP 5, an incubator by the University. The team previewed their prototypes of the device recently at CES, where global giant brands such as Sony, Audi, Intel, Razer and many more attended.

With the mobile art movement in full swing, everybody is a photographer — and images created and shared through cell phones are transforming the photography world. However, different individuals might need higher camera lens capacity.

Not only is aKu’s new ladibird camera lighter, less bulky and less complex than a DSLR, it also enables instant shoot and share through social networks, chat apps, to the cloud, or email. The ladibird’s image sensor is 7.5x larger than the average smartphone sensor — and 4x larger than a compact sensor. This extra large size lets it absorb more light into any photograph.

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The ladibird camera is currently in early stage development with a prototype for the iPhone 5. Other than previewing its product at the international tradeshow, aKu has also completed one successful round of Indiegogo funding, managed to raise a total of $24,600 from the crowdfunding platform (slightly more than its initial funding target).

“We view the ladibird camera as much more than just a product, it really represents an entire ecosystem for photography enthusiasts — from high quality portraiture at your fingertips to sharing on social media, the ladibird does it all,” notes aKu’s Adam Latip.

How does Ladibird compare with other cameras? Here’s a handy table:

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The pre-orders are all sold out for now, and if the product manages to launch to the market, it would cost you $300 to get your hands on one.

We managed to grab a quick word with the CEO of aKu when they were working at PGP 5, and he told Vulcan Post that they are not targeting the mass market, but rather photography enthusiasts who are looking for an alternative to the bulky DSLR.

As most of us increasingly rely on mobile phone and at the rate where smartphones reach the palm of consumers, is Ladibird the future of camera?

Would you use it? 

Editor’s note: It’s impressive for a small new startup from NUS to represent Singapore at a huge stage such as the CES.

Read also: NUS startup BigSpoon is on the quest to improve restaurant services

 

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