Crowdfunding follow-up: Muku Shuttr, the remote camera shutter for smartphones

Back in July, we featured the Muku Shuttr in our weekly crowdfunding roundup. Since then, the Kickstarter project went on to gain over 2500 backers and end with $94k in funding – well over the $10k goal. With the devices shipping out to backers starting next month, we took some time to review the device and speak with Kevin Keung, the head of Muku Labs.

Setting up the device

The device has two switches: one for turning the device on and off and the other for switching between iOS and Android compatibility. They’re easy to maneuver, but sadly there is no indication as to which is for on/off and which is for iOS/Android (although one is recessed and the other is not, which makes it easy to remember after some time).

Once you’ve turned it on and set it to your phone’s OS, it’s Bluetooth signal will start beaming out. Just like any other Bluetooth device, opening up the Settings app and going into the Bluetooth preferences will show the device available to pair.

How it works

The Shuttr is basically a one-button keyboard that sends the Volume + “key” to your phone. Rather than downloading a special/proprietary app, it works with the native camera app and any other app that takes a picture when the volume up button is pressed. Once you’re ready to take the photo, press the button and it’ll take a picture.

Having a remote shutter button around is powerful – no more finding a camera app with a self-timer function or asking someone else to take a group shot when traveling.

The battery is also self-serviceable, so once you use up all the juice you can open it up and replace the coin battery.

The crowdfunding experience and its effect

The demand for the Muku Shuttr pushed the project well beyond its funding goal – over 9.4x its $10k goal, in fact. Muku Labs’ Kevin Leung told me just a bit about how far that demand is extending:

Realizing that there is a true demand on this remote shutter release for smartphone through Kickstarter.  Dealers and distributors around the world approach us, exploring opportunity to bring Shuttr to retail store worldwide.  We are hoping that Shuttr will hit the shelf in one of the stores near you soon.

Going from an idea to a crowdfunding project to a product available at a retail store is an exhilarating experience for a development team. However, setting up shop quickly and efficiently is extremely demanding:

Fulfilling 3000 units in 2 months time is tough, we are trying so hard to push our suppliers in this busy season (most factories in China are super busy to fill up the container ships for Xmas in US and Europe).  But so far not only we didn’t slip any schedule, we managed to ship the first batch of 300 units 1 month ahead of our promise!

Muku Labs definitely has a hit on its hands – and the team seems to be capable of handling the customer support and product distribution like a well-oiled machine.

Availability and pricing

The Muku Shuttr is available from the Muku Labs website for $39 if you choose the black or white options or $49 for the Midnight Sun or Black Hole editions. All versions come with an elegant pouch and suction cup stand. With strong build quality and straight-forward setup and use, the Muku Shuttr makes for a great stocking stuffer.

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