Readers who are familiar with the musical career of Will.i.am might not be aware of the fact that the Black Eyed Peas singer is also a very successful entrepreneur.

The Black Eyed Peas @ Morumbi 04.11.2010

The camera accessory collection in discussion here was recently launched in London and is available only in the stores of the Selfridges & Co retailer.

Selfridges

However, the project is not entirely new and, according to Will.i.am, it originates from February 2012 when he came up with the concept of boosting the photo capabilities of the iPhone by adding an additional camera. The i.am+ iPhone accessories venture materialized with the help of specialists from all around the world, including Singapore, UK, Denmark and many other countries.

What exactly are these accessories?

The two working models of foto.sosho and prototype that is not yet functional, namely the C.4/V.4 and respectively the V.5 constitute an addition to the iPhone that confer Apple mobile device higher photo versatility. What they all have in common consists of the ability to enhance the quality of the iPhone 4 and 4S models (soon iPhone 5 as well) from 8 MP to an astounding 14 MP, also widening the angle view. The features integrated by these functioning models of these accessories are as following:

  • foto.sosho C.4 is the most basic version of the i.am+ accessory, costs 299 pounds and is equipped with inbuilt flash modules, 3 types of lenses that can be interchanged as necessary and grip allowing users to manipulate their Apple smartphone easily, in the same manner as a standard point&shoot camera. The available colors for the modern-designed i.am+ gadget comprise of white and gold.
  • foto.sosho V.4 constitutes the vintage version of the i.am+, costs 100 pounds more than the C.4 variant and, in addition to the more elegant profile, it brings along a few extra features such as the integrated QWERTY keyboard that slides out and connects with the iPhone via Bluetooth.

It is necessary to point out that both the C.4 and the V.4 are compatible with the 4 and 4S iPhones and they will become available on the market – as mentioned, exclusively via the London storefront of the Selfridges retailer – on December 6, 2012.

Regarding the V.5 accessory, which will also allegedly has a luxury edition named L.5, few details have been announced so far. Their launch date is most likely going to be in the first quarter of 2013 and they will only be compatible with the iPhone 5 model. That’s a bit of a downer, considering that the V.5 and L.5 promise to integrate several improvements from the V.4, so if you really want one than it’s probably time to trade in your iPhone 4 or 4S for a brand new iPhone 5.

The i.am+ application and the i.am domain

Here is how Will.i.am’s plan to bridge the gap between photography and social media aims to go down. The app, which customers of the foto.sosho accessory can download free of charge from Apple’s iTunes store, enables them to perform a plethora of actions like editing the pictures in real time, applying filters and, most importantly, sharing them via social networks. In addition, the offer that is limited to the very first people who purchase this camera accessory involves a no-cost, customizable domain on i.am/. The website is continuously evolving and they plan to offer clients far more than storage space and the ability to streamline the pictures online very soon.

The public’s reaction and feedback so far

Will.i.am’s newly launched gadget has stirred quite a hype at the Selfridges store in London and the show attracted quite a crowd. However, the opinions regarding the value of his new line of iPhone camera accessories generated mixed reactions. While some people view this bold entrepreneurial move as an admirable initiative and a mandatory step in the evolution of social media and photography, other opinions are not quite so positive.

You see, there are voices that suggest the megapixel increase of a compact camera will not only fail to improve the image quality, but actually downgrade it. In addition to that “conspiracy theorists” state that Will.i.am is in fact a front-man for large electronics manufacturer and his main role consists of “branding” products. Well, the “original DeLorean” stunt he pulled might actually confirm this hypothesis.

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