We were pretty impressed when we took a look at Satarii's Swivl, the iPhone dock that serves as a motorized video tripod, but the $179 price may have put some people off. The company has now announced a new entry-level model which leaves some features behind in favor of a more affordable price. The Swivl-it has the same basic functionality as the original: you place your iPhone in the device, start recording video, and the Swivl-it then tracks you from left to right as you walk through the room courtesy of a wireless connection with the included remote. The original model also features automatic vertical framing, which has been cut from the Swivl-it in favor of manual-only control with the remote.
There's also been some compromise on the audio side. The standard Swivl's remote features a built-in microphone for streaming audio to your iPhone; the Swivl-it's version provides just the tracking functionality. The feature cuts drop the price down to $129, however, and if you would like to add audio after the fact, the microphone-enabled remote can be purchased separately for $49. The Swivl-it is available for order now, with the product expected to ship before the end of May. While we'd still like to see the price come down a little further, there's no doubt it provides some unique functionality, and the new model should encourage additional users to give the Swivl line a try. Even better, Satarii has stated that an iOS app is forthcoming along with a full SDK, both of which should expand the device's possible uses even further.