November 15th, 2013

Inteliscope — Gun-Mounted SmartPhone Sighting System

Replace your scope with an iPhone? That is now possible with the Inteliscope. This new product provides a rigid mount for an iPhone that attaches to your firearm’s Picatinny rail. A special software App allows the Inteliscope to be zeroed, with a variety of user-selectable reticles. Simply tap a button on the iPhone screen to switch reticles. You can even record video of your shooting session. The Inteliscope system costs $99.00, which includes rail mount, iPhone holder, and iOS App.

Intelliscope iPhone iOS video digital sighting system

Intelliscope iPhone iOS video digital sighting system

This set-up offers some benefits for short-range plinking and tactical-style shooting with relatively large targets. It may be best for Paintball and Airsoft applications. The built-in Shot Timer is useful for action shooting events. However, we have concerns about the long-term durability of an iPhone when used on a centerfire rifle. In addition, this kind of set-up is cumbersome and not particularly weatherproof. Therefore it has questionable utility for a hunter in the field.

On the other hand, this device could be a superb training aid. The Inteliscope provides a large display that can be viewed from a relatively wide angle. This allows a trainer/instructer to see how the shooter is aiming the rifle. The iPhone’s video-capture capability lets the shooter record his practice session. The ability to “share the view” (with an instructor) and record video (for later analysis), makes the Inteliscope a very valuable training tool. We know that juniors will enjoy seeing their targets through a digital screen.

Watch Video to See How Inteliscope App Displays Reticle on Gun-Mounted iPhone

Intelliscope iPhone iOS video digital sighting system

Intelliscope iPhone iOS video digital sighting system

Is There an Optical/Digital System in Your Future?
We doubt that most of our readers will want to purchase an Inteliscope. Since magnification is limited to the zoom capability of the iPhone, and the lens is small and cheap, this device will never provide the sharpness, clarity, or resolution of a fine rifle-scope. However, we think the Inteliscope is important because it shows how a small lens, combined with a digital viewing screen, can completely replace iron sights or a conventional optical scope.

We think the Inteliscope is important as a precursor of future integrated optical + digital technologies. In truth, a combined optical/digital system may be more suited to benchresters than hunters. A small, high-magnification optic (not much bigger than a pill bottle) could be mounted to the scope rail of a benchrest rifle. Windage and elevation could be adjusted externally, or via software. Light would pass through the optic’s lens to a high-resolution sensor — the kind already used in quality digital cameras. Then the “view” from the lens could be passed to a digital screen (or iPhone) via a cord, or via a wireless blue-tooth or WIFI connection. The screen (or iPhone) could then be placed on the bench in a position most convenient for the shooter. The Inteliscope demonstrates how software can provide the aiming reticle. With the very best high-magnification competition scopes now approaching $3000.00, it is time to look at other solutions. By reducing the size of the lens system and outputting the “view” to an iPhone or similar device, the entire cost of the rifle-mounted optic could be much less than we are paying now for premium rifle-scopes.

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