An enterprising Renfrewshire company has helped create a new smartphone device that transforms the iPhone into an instant camera.
And the new device has already sparked interest from an Oscar winning actor.
Meso Design, based at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, designed and manufactured the Popa device on behalf on Manchester based Beep Industries.
The lightweight device simply slots into the base of the iPhone and features a large red button that transforms the smartphone into an instant camera. Popa is due to go on sale at the end of this month and will retail for £49.99. A free app – available from the Apple Apps store – drives the device. Work is currently underway on an Android version.
The project was part funded in the United States through Kickstarter, an online funding platform for the creative industries, which allows members of the public to fund new innovative products. Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks, star of Toy Story, The Da Vinci Code and Forrest Gump, discovered the device on Kickstarter and contacted the developers to find out more about the product.
Bosses at Meso Design hope the launch of the new iPhone 4S earlier this month will help boost sales of the new product, one of a series of new devices expected from the Renfrewshire firm in the coming months.
Danny Kane, director of Meso Design, said: “We’re delighted to have played a part in the design and manufacture of Popa. It’s an ingenious idea, and one that we expect will prove hugely popular with iPhone users.
“We have enjoyed working on this exciting project with Beep Industries, which comes at a particularly important time for the smartphone market with the launch of the iPhone 4S. The new model features an 8 megapixel camera that allows for amazingly sharp photos, and thanks to Popa, it’s now easier than ever to take stunning images with the most popular smartphone on the market.”
Popa is one of two upcoming devices for smartphone users developed in conjunction with Beep Industries. The MoviePeg – also due out later this month – is an easy to fit stand that allows users to watch movies on any smartphone and tablet device.
Fellow director of Meso Design Gregor Aikman added: “With manufacturing deals at home and abroad, a growing portfolio of local and international clients and a host of new products due for release in the next 12 months, we are hugely excited about the future prospects for Meso. With Meso, we set out to create an entirely new type of design and innovation company, one with skills across a range of industry sectors. Our adaptability and willingness to take on new challenges has stood us in good stead and the business has grown substantially over the past three years. Despite the economic climate, we expect this year to be our best ever and we are confident that 2012 will prove even more successful.”
Popa was inspired by photographer John Dawes, father of Popa creator Brendan Dawes of Beep Industries.
The lightweight device attaches to the base of the iPhone, instantly transforming the smartphone into a point and shoot camera, allowing users to take instant pictures without first having to access their iPhone, open their camera, frame the picture and click – all of which takes precious time. With Popa, precious moments can be captured instantly and are never missed.
Find out more about Popa at www.thisispopa.com
Meso was formed in 2008 by three product design engineering graduates – Danny Kane, Craig Lynn and Gregor Aikman – with financial backing from Inchinnan based engineering firm Teknek. The company now employs 10 people and has a projected turnover this year of £1 million.
The company has experience across a range of sectors – including food and drink, medicine and consumer products – and has recently been shortlisted for two ROCCO (Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce) awards: Most Promising New Business and Award for Innovation & Technology.
The company was also recently shortlisted for a prestigious Shell LiveWIRE grand ideas award for its work with Cornwall based surfboard manufacturer Mocean on a protective surfbag.
Its growing client list of local and international clients includes SECC, Glasgow School of Art, Whyte and Mackay, Famous Grouse, Thales, Glidetrack and Courvoisier.
Find out more about Meso at www.mesodesign.com