Maker creates an Arduino-powered remote shutter for Beme

Instead of having to hold his smartphone against his chest to create Bemes, Maker Sean Hodgins built an Arduino-powered remote shutter.

When the Vine app first emerged, Maker Sean Hodgins had the idea to take an Arduino and to devise a time-lapse rig that would allow him to share unique six-second posts with his friends on the social channel. Keep in mind, this was long before the days of simply editing clips on the computer and then putting them up on Vine as many folks do now. Back then, users were required to actually touch the smartphone’s screen in order to begin recording.


Following the feedback that he received on his earlier project, Hodgins decided to build a remote shutter for use with Beme, a Snapchat-like ephemeral messaging platform that has recently risen in popularity. What separates this network from others before it is the way in which moments are captured. In an effort to migrate away from selfie culture, Beme is instead triggered by a phone’s proximity sensor and photos are snapped by placing the device against your chest.

Rather than always having to hold the phone against his body, Hodgins wanted to create a remote that would enable him to start recording by moving a servo arm over the proximity sensor. To accomplish this, he built a nifty device inside an iPhone case. Housed within the enclosure lies an Arduino Pro Mini (ATmega328), a 9V battery and a “cheapo” wireless receiver, while a separate button is used to communicate with the unit and activate the system with just a click.


“Right now, since it’s so hacked together, the RF doesn’t like to communicate when the servo moves which means it drops out when you trigger it. As a quick fix, I modified the code to just trigger and wait the minimum time for the Beme to post. As a real fix, I could add a transistor to power the servo so that when its not moving its powered off,” the Maker notes.

Watch Hodgins provide a detailed overview of the simple project in the video below. Interested in making one of your own? Head over to his original post here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s