Galileo is a Kickstarter project billed as an “iOS-controlled robotic iPhone platform with infinite spherical rotation capability.” Translation: You dock an iPhone into it, which can then be tilted and panned remotely via another Apple device while you’re video chatting with someone.
Say you’re halfway around the world and you’re trying to video chat with a small child who has the attention span of a gnat. Galileo lets you pan and tilt the far-away iPhone by swiping around your own iPhone or iPad screen to keep the kid in frame as he darts around the room.
“My motivation, originally, was to make it easier for me to have video chats with my son while I was away on business,” says Galileo creator Josh Guyot in the above video. “The lack of control and visibility when you’re talking with someone far away makes you feel even further away, and was just so frustrating.”
Galileo aims to play nice with others with a standard tripod mount and programming interface that’ll allow third-party apps to integrate the device’s remote control features. That last part is important, as the success of the product will ultimately depend upon outside apps.
Apple’s FaceTime app, for instance, isn’t currently supported. “We are actively working with Apple to integrate Galileo control into FaceTime,” says an entry in the project’s FAQ section, “But we don’t have a timetable yet.” The company says, “We’re working with several app developers to integrate Galileo support for launch,” however, so that’s a good sign.
The Kickstarter project has blown well past its $100,000 fundraising goal, but will still be accepting donations for the next couple of weeks or so. An $85 pledge will guarantee you one of the products when they’re ready; they’ll cost $130 a pop otherwise.