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Insert Coin: The Kick, an iPhone-controlled camera light

Jon Fingas , @jonfingas

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

Lighting in photography or movie making is often the reserve of pros who can either afford a studio's worth of equipment or who have the know-how to generate just the right effect with one light. Rift's Kick light mostly tackles the latter by using a control you (probably) already know how to use: your iPhone. If you opt for the WiFi-toting Kick Plus model, an iOS app can control one or more lights for basics like brightness and color temperature -- but it really comes into its own when you want a dash of color or to record video. A Kick can sample color from a palette, a video or directly from the iPhone's camera; temporal effects like a lightning storm can spice up an amateur horror movie. If you're only looking for a straightforward white light to back up production for a traditional camera, the Kick Basic will let you control the rudiments from buttons on the light itself.

Unless you're just looking for a sticker reflecting your support, every pledge tier is directly tied to buying a Kick light in advance. Early buyers can put down $89 to get a Kick Basic in black or white, or $139 for the Kick Plus. The more you buy, the cheaper it gets: $180 or $280 will land a pair of Basic of Plus lights, and stores can pay $4,300 or $6,500 to get a hefty 50 units of either model. If you're starting on a small-scale movie production or just have to have properly-lit subjects for street photography, head on over to the Kickstarter source link and chip in.

Previous Project Update: We always like it when an Insert Coin project reaches its target early, and so we're happy to say that Sensorcon's Sensordrone mobile device has pushed well past its $25,000 goal. Pledges are still open until July 21st, though, and will let you get in on the first wave of regular production orders if you jump in now.