Insert Coin: Triggertrap open source automatic camera release (video)

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.

Perhaps the simplest function on any camera, the shutter release is typically triggered using a dedicated button, or -- most often in the case of a professional rig -- using a wired or wireless remote. The Triggertrap falls into that latter category, completing the circuit necessary to capture an image after receiving commands from a virtually limitless array of sources. After pairing with your DSLR or ILC using a universal connector, you'll be able to trigger the device to snap a photo using a laser beam (thanks to the built-in photo transistor), sound (a hand clap, for example), or a timer -- typically most applicable to time-lapse photography. An auxiliary port will enable you to get even more creative -- you could release the shutter using a remote control, pressure trigger, or even a cell phone call, for example.

The Triggertrap is well on its way to a Kickstarter campaign goal of $25,000, but there's still time to pre-order a DIY kit for $70, or a turn-key version for five bucks more. As always, Kickstarter will issue a refund if the project isn't funded before the July 31st deadline. Both devices are Arduino based and open source, so you're free to make modifications as you wish -- assuming you don't mind getting your hands dirty with a bit of programming. Jump past the break for a quick demo video, and keep an eye out for the creator's Pringles can DIY macro lens, just past the 13 second mark.

Previous project update: SoBi, the Social Bicycles bike sharing system (and our last Insert Coin project), still needs a very generous push to meet its $75,000 goal, with just over 5 percent of the necessary funding granted so far. A more favorable credit incentive would certainly help -- a 1:1 reward-to-risk ratio doesn't exactly seem to be bringing in the necessary amount of pledges.