人気グループ Black Eyed Peas のアーティスト Will.i.am が、iPhone をコンパクトカメラにするアクセサリ i.am+ foto.sosho を発表しました。foto.sosho はWill.i.am が自身の名前を冠したデジタル製品ブランド i.am+ 初の製品。

自前のレンズや撮像素子まで備えたコンパクトカメラ型本体に iPhone を合体させることで、光学ズームや広角・魚眼といった交換レンズに14メガピクセルの高品位なイメージセンサ、フラッシュなど撮影性能を強化しつつ、iPhone のタッチUIや画像編集機能、ネットワーク機能などを融合したカメラに変身させます。


公開された foto.sosho のスタイルは、グリップやレザー外装まで備えたビンテージなコンパクトカメラそのもの。お約束の「そこまでするんだったらカメラ買え」やら「カメラと Eye-Fi とダイレクトモードを併用すれば」云々と言いたくなりますが、iPhoneクラスの高精細なタッチスクリーンに3GやLTE / Bluetooth 接続を備え、豊富な画像編集機能とSNSアプリを備えたコンパクトカメラは「ほぼ」存在しないこと、いくらEye-Fi でも撮って即座に編集・共有はできないことを思えば、たしかにおもしろいニッチはありそうです。

通信機能とアプリ対応を備えたカメラといえば、サムスンの光学21倍レンズ搭載Androidカメラ GALAXY Camera や、ニコン COOLPIX S800c といった例があります。あるいは foto.soshoもこのジャンルの製品として、別の3G回線契約やアプリセットを必要とせず iPhone で実現するアタッチメントとも言えます。

またガジェット好き・テクノロジー好きで知られるアーティストブランドの「ファッションと技術の融合」アイテムであることを思えば、見た目が大げさになってもいい、むしろ主張が激しいほどうれしい、本体より大きな追加パーツで機能を拡張することに興奮するという層にも受けるかもしれません。


発表された foto.sosho は iPhone 4/4S 対応の foto.sosho C.4 / V.4 、iPhone 5 対応の V.5 / L.5 と4モデルがあり、それぞれ機能や価格に差があります。並べると:

foto.sosho C.4
0.67x ワイドマクロ、0.28x 魚眼、標準レンズ対応のベーシックモデル。白と黒の「モダンスタイル」。199ポンド (約 2万6000円)。

foto.sosho V.4。
ゴールドやシルバー、レザー素材を使った「ビンテージスタイル」の上位版。カメラ機能のほか、スライド式でバックライト付きのQWERTYキーボードも追加(?!)。キーボードの接続はBluetooth。299ポンド(約3万9000円)

foto.sosho V.5, L.5
iPhone 5対応。「ラグジュアリー」版のL.5はQWERTYキーボード搭載。来年発売。



デジタル製品が割高な英国であることを差し引いても、アーティストブランドのファッションアイテムらしい値段です。

foto.sosho はアクセサリ本体と同名の無料アプリがセットで提供されるほか、購入者は i.amドメインに i.am/(名前) のURLとアカウントを持てる特典もあります。

iPhone 4/4S 対応モデルは12月6日から、ロンドンのデパート Selfridges & Co で販売される予定。iPhone 5対応モデルはやや遅れて来年になる見込みです。



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will.i.am Launches a Global First: i.am+ foto.sosho, a Revolution in Portable Lifestyle Technology

November 28, 2012 London – musician and entrepreneur, will.i.am, and the world's best department store, Selfridges have today officially unveiled will.i.am's breakthrough i.am+™ foto.sosho™ fashion camera accessory, for iPhone 4/4s. Adding a new twist to the rapidly expanding world of social-digital photography sector, i.am+ foto.sosho combines the form and function of a camera with the real-time aspect of an iPhone.

i.am+ foto.sosho is the world's first digital camera accessory and app combination designed to turn an iPhone 4/4s into a sophisticated point and shoot digital camera with on-board editing, filters and social media connectivity. The i.am+ foto.sosho iPhone 4/4s models will be available exclusively at Selfridges London from December 6, 2012.

As the worlds of digital media, consumer electronics and social media continue to collide, will.i.am further streamlines smart phones into a single multi tasking, high quality imagery social hub, with a unique social versatility. Smart phones are instantly transformed into point and shoot cameras by the i.am+ accessories that offer onboard photo editing, filters and sharing are all built into a 14 mega pixel lens.

will.i.am comments "i.am proud to finally launch the i.am+ foto.sosho app and camera to the world from London. Our product fuses fashion with technology, changing the way you look at a smart phone...the i.am+ foto.sosho camera will make your smart phone brilliant..."

Selfridges London will showcase i.am+ camera accessories in three different departments in the London store. A team of specially trained i.am+ Evangelists will demonstrate the camera accessories in the flagship space experience on the ground floor womens accessories. Customers will also be able to purchase the camera accessories from first floor menswear and in the Technology Hall.

David Walker-Smith, Selfridges Buying Director comments "We are incredibly excited to launch this global exclusive with will.i.am. We are a forward thinking business, always looking for new and exciting opportunities to give our customers extraordinary shopping experiences. We are delighted to be the first and exclusive retail outlet for i.am+ and help will.i.am to trailblaze a new path into 21st century technology and social media interaction."

In tandem with the launch of the i.am+ camera accessory and app, will.i.am is offering early buyers of the i.am+ camera accessory the first opportunity to secure an i.am+ profile within the "i.am" domain. Profiles will include a unique short web URL such as "http://i.am/will." As i.am+ builds its offerings with additional hardware products and services, i.am+ profile users will have access to new collaborative and social features.

will.i.am founded and self-funds the development and manufacturing of i.am.plus, LLC, a global business operation with team experts located in China, Denmark, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States countries. i.am+ started as an initial concept in February, 2012, and then expanded to the product design and rapid prototyping phase in June, 2012. Working with a group of veteran mobile phone and tablet design and manufacturing experts based in California, Singapore and China, the team dramatically compressed the conventional consumer electronics project timelines to deliver the first i.am+ foto.sosho camera accessory models to retail on December 6, 2012 exclusively at Selfridges & Co for the 2012 holiday shopping season.

i.am+ foto.sosho i.am+ models turbo charge iPhone 4s to combines the form and function of a camera with the real-time aspect of an iphone. The iPhone5 foto.sosho model, coming soon, will push it up a notch by adding its own 14 mega-pixel sensor and 5x zoom to the mix.

Highlights
· foto.sosho fits over iPhone4/4s models so there is no need to carry a separate camera to take, customize and share great pictures
· included in iPhone 4/4s standard package include: standard, fish-eye, and wide lenses. The deluxe iPhone 4/4s package includes: standard, fish-eye, wide and zoom lenses.
· Shoot, edit, share and send photos all with the same hardware. Control the built-in flash, and then edit photos immediately after shooting, including applying real-time filters and image adjustments. No need to wait to download photos to a computer to edit, apply filters and share.
· The companion app that turns i.am+ foto.sosho into a social photography experience is free. Download it from the iTunes App Store and link it to your i.am+ foto.sosho camera accessory.
· Instantly share photos via social media channels
· Store photos in your individual and free i.am domain account, customized to your name, such as i.am/john, i.am/Watson
· Photo Stream – check out your own stream, your friends' photo streams, people you follow, or the public/community photo stream

Models for iPhone 4s
foto.sosho C.4 (modern look camera for iPhone 4/4s).
· Lens included: Standard, 0.67x Wide Macro, 0.28x Fisheye.

· Point and shoot available in two body colors: black or white.

· Price: 199 pounds (iPhone 4 not included).
foto.sosho V.4 (vintage look camera for iPhone 4/4s) includes a slide-out keyboard.

· Lens included: Standard, 0.67x Wide Macro, 0.28x Fisheye.

· Available in two colors: white & gold or black & silver.

· Price: 299 pounds (iPhone 4 not included)

Models for iPhone 5 – coing soon
foto.sosho V.5 (vintage look camera for iPhone 5) (coming soon)

· Available in sliver and brown leather, all white leather or all black leather.

foto.sosho L.5 (luxury camera for iPhone 5)
includes slide-out keyboard

· Available in sliver and brown leather, all white leather or all black leather.