TriggerTrap universal camera trigger goes into production

Dec 5, 2011 at 19:10 GMT

The crowd-funded universal camera trigger, TriggerTrap, has gone into production its creator has announced. TriggerTrap is a light, laser and sound-sensitive programmable camera trigger with built-in time-lapse function. It also has an auxilliary input and is built around Arduino open-source architecture, meaning it can be programmed to trigger a camera in response to almost any electrical input. The TriggerTrap is compatible with a large range of cameras, via cable or infra-red communication, it will be available from February at a cost of $125.

Creator Haje Jan Kamps has produced some test time-lapse footage using the TriggerTrap, which can be seen on the TriggerTrap website. http://triggertrap.com/2011/12/01/triggertrap-timelapse-tests/

Press release

Triggertrap goes into production

Triggertrap, the versatile, universal camera trigger has gone into production. Featuring built-in light, laser and sound sensors, the Triggertrap also incorporates a timer, for flexible control of Timelapse photography. The device can control hundreds of different cameras via Infra-Red or wired trigger systems (depending on the camera's capability) and it based around the open-source Arduino architecture, allowing it to be controlled, programmed and expanded to suit your technical requirements and creative vision.

Creative photography possibilities

The Triggertrap is perfect for high-speed photography. The light and sound sensors can be used to capture events just milliseconds after they happen.

It's fast. Very fast.

The team behind the Triggertrap tried triggering flashes in response to the built-in strobe on a compact camera, and found that the Triggertrap was able to respond and fire the external flash such that it would correctly sync at shutter speeds down to 1/640th of a second - that's a response time of less than 1.6 milliseconds.

Of course, the light sensor can also be used for other things: Capturing the sunrise without getting up out of bed early, or taking a photo whenever somebody turns on the lights in a room. The laser trigger is a second light sensor, specially adapted for being used with a laser beam - point a laser at it from across the room, and the Triggertrap can take photos for you whenever the beam is broken.

The final built-in sensor is a microphone that can trigger your camera whenever the Triggertrap senses a sound - a door opening, a baseball hitting a bat, etc. You can also use it as a hands-free kit for studio photography: Simply whistle or clap your hands to trigger your camera. Perfect for when you're doing stop-motion animation, for example.

Additionally, the Triggertrap has an Auxiliary port, to which you can connect nearly anything. Wire it to the horn on your car to take a photo when you honk at someone; connect it to a pressure-sensitive switch under your door mat to photograph your guests; add a switch to your cat-flap to find out which of the neighbour's cats keep stealing your cat-food; hook it up to an infra-red motion detection sensor to take photos of wildlife. Anything you can think of: as long as you can find a way to make your event create an electric signal, Triggertrap lets you use it to trigger you camera.

In addition to triggering a camera based on sensor inputs, the Triggertrap has timelapse functionality built-in.

"Part of the excitement about the Triggertrap", says its inventor, Haje Jan Kamps, "is that I have no idea what people are going to use it for. It's an incredibly versatile piece of photography kit, and because it is so easy to hack, I'm expecting creativity to go off the charts."

Designed for photographers, supported by photographers

The Triggertrap story starts in July 2011 when an attempt to raise $25,000 via crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com took the photography world by storm. In a little over a month, nearly 900 supporters had pledged more than $77,000 in exchange for more than 950 Triggertraps. Once the project was officially funded on June 31st, the long journey towards a real product started

Today, the Triggertrap team announce that the testing and prototyping phase is complete. They are ordering the parts needed to manufacture the Triggertrap this week, and in a few weeks, the factory will start creating the devices.

Open Source & Arduino

The TriggerTrap (left) sits alongside the build-it-yourself TriggerTrap Shield (right).

Both the main Triggertrap version and the built-it-yourself 'Shield' version run on Arduino-compatible software, which makes the barrier to modification very low indeed. The team is planning to release both the software and hardware under open-source licences. This allows use of the easy-to-learn Arduino programming language to add new functionality to the device - or alter the built-in features - and easily upload the new firmware to the Triggertrap with an USB cable.

The 'Shield' version of the Triggertrap takes hackability to a completely new level. It is a device that 'piggybacks' onto the back of an Arduino rapid prototyping platform board. By choosing the shield version, you get the satisfaction of soldering your very own Triggertrap (it isn't nearly as hard as it sounds - promise!). You can choose to build the Triggertrap as specified in the soon-to-be-released step-by-step instructions, or use the circuit board to create your own versions of the Triggertrap.

The Triggertraps should start shipping in early February 2012, with the Triggertrap Shield following soon after. The device costs $125 for the complete version, and $75 for the build-it-yourself Triggertrap 'Shield' version. For more information, see Triggertrap.com