1A Tools have already made a name for themselves with their MøVi tripod adapter which we reported on here. Now they are back at it by reinventing the wheel, so to speak:
Their new 1A Tools Alpha Wheels bring back the wheel controlled panning and tilting shots to modern devices like MøVi gimbals and remote heads. Contrary to actual mechanical wheels, the Alpha Wheels have electronics inside them which allow them to be reprogrammed for all kinds of devices. You can think of it like an input controller such a computer mouse, adjustable for all kinds of uses that allow for two axis movement or adjustment.
1A Tools say that the Alpha Wheels allow much more precise control of pan and tilt compared to the normal remote because you can’t accidentally pan or tilt when you using them, and they are surely right that the controls are not as fiddly. This seems to make sense particularly for narrative filmmaking where the same shot is repeated many times. I am personally not so sure of the argument about accidental pan or tilt because those controls are dedicated separate joysticks on the remote anyway.
Although I can certainly see a market for this, the device comes at a price – it’s available for pre-order for $1,800 from their website now. Personally I will stick with my (MUCH cheaper) Freefly Mimic controller (our article / video here) when I need an operator, but I’ll definitely take the Alpha Wheels for a spin when I get a chance ….
Check the Alpha Wheels out on the 1A Tools website.