Vaonis' Hestia Kickstarter to turn smartphones into smart telescopes crosses $2 million with a week to go

Aug 14, 2023
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I'm assuming that they are doing the same thing that Samsung is doing with their moon pictures. You don't need the silly box to have AI superimpose a pre-existing picture over what you're looking at. An app could do the same thing. The same functionality will probably be built into sky map in a year or two.
Samsung cheated by substituting file photos for user taken photos. No hardware needed. This was the big advantage.

Hestia is a piece of hardware. It costs money and contains lenses. There is no incentive to cheat.
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This looks like a clever enough idea selling for under $250 that it should sell well, IMO. The increase in aperture may give enough resolution to have some descent images. Adding fast imaging stacking to produce the best results makes great sense.

I suspect this approach might be better than buying a starter scope since the images could be superior to actual viewing through, say, a small refractor.