The HiLO Lens: an angled camera lens for your iPhone

A friend of mine asked me the other day what I thought about add-on camera lenses for the iPhone. I told him the Olloclip was pretty popular, but I hadn’t ever owned any myself so I probably wasn’t the best person to ask.

You see, I’ve never really seen the point to these clip-on lenses. They just never seem to improve picture quality enough to justify the cost and hassle. But this new HiLO Lens might actually be worth taking a look at…

The HiLO is an angled, innovative camera lens for your iPhone. It fits over the handset’s rear iSight lens, and attaches via a sticky pad. Don’t worry, it won’t leave residue on your device and can be cleaned with soap and water.

The casing of the lens is made from machined aluminum, and inside you’ll find custom designed optics, made with three lenses and a prism. This essentially gives you a pariscope-like setup, so you can take angled photos.

If you’re interested in the HiLO, you might consider heading over to its Kickstarter page and backing the project. With 14 days left, they’re at $21,000 of their $27,500 goal. A $60 pledge scores you an early version of the lens.

The team says the HiLO will start shipping in February of next year, and will be compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5. It’s an interesting product, for sure, and will make a nice addition to any iPhoneographer’s lens kit.

What do you think of the HiLO? Cool idea, or expensive novelty?