This Automated, Rotating Tripod Can Direct Action-Packed Smartphone Videos for You

Pivo
Pivo

Leave your selfie stick and stationary tripod behind. A new interactive mount for your smartphone swivels 360° while tracking your every move, letting you star in your own movie or take creative photos without having to recruit a cameraman.

The gadget, called Pivo, is one of the latest products aimed at making smartphone photography and videography more seamless. The device can be called into action by snapping your fingers, saying “cheese,” or tapping a button on the remote or companion app, and it offers a few nifty filming modes that will save you the trouble of editing video footage later.

Versus Mode lets you quickly pan between two subjects at pre-designated times, so it’s perfect for filming rap battles or debate-style videos, according to the makers of Pivo. You can also take timelapse videos in motion, which lets the camera rotate 120°, 180°, or 360° to capture more of your surroundings.

It’s not just for video, either. The panorama mode lets you capture a wide-angle image without worrying about messing up your photo with accidental motion. “No more unnatural photo stitching with duplicate heads or missing arms,” the company promises. Another feature, called ManyMe, helps you create an army of clones by snapping still shots of you in different parts of the frame, then stitching them together in one photograph.

Any smartphone can be attached to Pivo, and it works with both iOS and Android. As the ProVideo Coalition puts it, the device is “a true Swiss Army knife to take your smartphone photography to a new level.”

Pivo is currently available for pre-order on Indiegogo for $79, and orders are scheduled to ship in May.

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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No Squawking, Please: A Backyard Bird Library Is the Star of This Livestream

Bird Library, YouTube
Bird Library, YouTube

Many people discovered backyard birding when they were quarantined in their homes at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you have a vibrant wildlife population in your area, the Bird Library webcam is worth checking out. As Atlas Obscura reports, the bird feeder at the focus of the livestream resembles a tiny library where feathered guests can misbehave.

Librarian Rebecca Flowers and woodworker Kevin Cwalina were inspired to build the Bird Library in 2015. Located in a backyard in Charlottesville, Virginia, it features a miniature reading chair, bookshelves, and a reception desk. The decorations are even updated to match the seasons; the feeder currently sports a banner that says "Summer Reading." The main differences setting it apart from a real library are the bird seed scattered on the floor and the avian visitors.

The Bird Library attracts a diverse collection of patrons. Sparrows, cardinals, and mourning doves have been recorded perching on the librarian's desk and checking out the reading materials. The occasional squirrel has also been known to stop by.

Live video of the feeder streams on the Bird Library's YouTube page and website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can play the video below to check in on the current guests. If the backyard Bird Library has inspired you to find birds closer to home, here's some gear for beginner naturalists.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]