Moment is heading back to Kickstarter with two new cases and a new lens made for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The mobile photography startup is crowdfunding a new version of its wide-angle 18mm lens, a $99 battery case that you can attach the lens to, and a slim case with no electronics, with the aim of shipping the products in July.
The company got its start in 2014 by selling small, high-quality lenses that could augment your iPhone’s field of view. Initially these lenses attached to a metal plate that stuck to the back of an iPhone 5. But Moment quickly rolled out plates for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and, in 2015, returned to Kickstarter with an iPhone case that let users shoot with Moment lenses without the sticky plates.
Now the company is completely ditching the plates for a case and lens setup. While Moment’s first case was clever and well made, it was in a weird middle ground as far as phone cases go — it was about $50, and it didn’t have a battery even though it kind of looked like it did. “I noticed friends would either go for the $20 Amazon case or the $99 battery case,” CEO Marc Barros tells The Verge.
So Moment is now chasing that trend. The company made two new cases that are available for preorder starting today: a $99 battery case (2,500mAh for the iPhone 7, 3,500mAh for the iPhone 7 Plus) and a $30 slim case.
The speckled battery case is made of a mix of plastic and rubber material, and is smaller and thinner than your typical Mophie case. It has a two-stage shutter button just like its predecessor, and it also now has a Lightning port at the bottom — though it won’t work with Lightning headphones. The slim case, on the other hand, is just a simple case that will come in wood or black canvas.
The new cases come with a simplified lens-locking interface that clicks the lenses in place. (I tried a prototype — it’s a very satisfying click and it also eliminates the uncertainty around whether or not the lens is secure.) The iPhone 7 Plus cases will also let users attach lenses to the 2X telephoto camera.
Both new cases will work with Moment’s new wide-angle lens, which has been redesigned from the ground up according to Barros. The company switched to an aspherical design, and Moment is promising much higher-quality results now that they had a chance to design the optics for the iPhone’s newest camera.
Barros says Moment will eventually redesign its other lenses — the 60mm telephoto, the 15mm fisheye, and the 18.5mm macro — to work with the new plates. Until then, existing Moment customers will be able to use their old lenses on the new cases thanks to a small adapter.
As for why Moment is returning to Kickstarter, Barros says it’s all about the direct line that the platform opens up to consumers. “We just wanted to validate customer demand with this many products at the same time,” Barros says. “If we’re wrong and the customers don’t give a shit? It will bankrupt us. We can’t afford to not get crowdfunding feedback.”