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The iBowsight: Turn Your iPhone Into a Versatile Bow Sight

by Dustin DeCroo 16. December 2011 07:42
Dustin DeCroo

At bowhunting.com we are always fascinated by cutting edge technology in the archery world, with that said, the iBowsight is very intriguing. The iBowsight is a two part system that combines the iBowsight app (for iPhone 4 or 4s) with a bracket that mounts to any bow with standard AMO sight holes. From there your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S utilizes the camera for your sight picture and can utilize the HD video camera in conjunction with your sight. This means, you can use the phone as a sight and record your hunt at the same time. The pins and sight ring are both fully adjustable in regards to color and size as well as offering a pendulum sight option for extreme angles.

This is what the iBowsight App/mount ready to hunt!

As interesting as this is, my skeptical mind began to ask questions about the “reliability” of an electronic and removable sight. With this in mind, I sent my questions directly to the manufacturers of iBowsight as I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with them at the Mathews retailers show where I was first introduced to the product. These were the questions that I asked as well as the responses from the engineers of iBowsight.

What happens when you get a phone call or text?

You can set your phone in airplane mode or have blue tooth on for incoming calls. With bluetooth, you can always answer with your headset, I personally will put mine in airplane mode when I hunt to lock out the distraction! For text it is simple, below is what it looks like when the text shows up, the text will show on top of the iBowSight Screen while in iBowsight mode even when at full draw. As you can see the text does not in any way interfere with your sight ring.


This shows what will be shown when a text is received.


Does the iPhone mount exactly the same way every time?

Yes for the first 1500 times it should be within +/- 0.003". To mount the iPhone 4(S) effectively, reliably, securely and quickly, a clamp system with 8 mounting points has been designed. This system allows the user to mount and remove the iPhone from the bracket in less than 10 seconds while maintaining the same position, +/- 0.003” from -4F to +120F.

Additionally, iBowSight allows users to create multiple profiles to meet the needs of the current bow in use. This means each profile can be set up individually and even be specific to the brand and length of the arrow being shot. One has the ability to build and tune these specific profiles to get within +/- 0.003” of an inch even in extreme temperatures. The beauty of these profiles is that they can be precisely recalled at an instant time after time. To make this a true sight system, the mounting bracket is predrilled to give up to 3 mounting positions on the bow and have a pre-tapped holes for a bow quiver. The back of the bracket is also predrilled to accommodate for future accessories and comes standard with a removable accessory mounting bar. There will be two different styles available at the ATA Show offered in Black and different Camouflages yet to be announced. The iPhone attaches to the bracket via the stainless steel bristle around the phone , the bracket does not attach to the glass screen because the screen can expand and contract due to temperature variances.

How does the app affect battery life?

The app does not affect battery life, unless you leave it in the foreground, with iOS5 multitasking, you can put it on back ground and it is just dormant. When running in the background mode, the battery will last 16hrs.

The app is designed to have a lot more features than most people can dream, like instant on, 2 seconds to in-focus from app being pressed.

How does the iBowsight work in rainy or snowy conditions?

With iPhone's water resistant design, there will be rain hood and USB plug sold as accessories for those who want to use it in those weather conditions.

How do you sight in the iBowsight?

Just like any other sight, but with iPhone you can micro adjust in +/- 0.003" once you have the iPhone bracket installed on your bow you can rough sight it in, then to do the fine micro adjusting to your sight. You will be able to micro adjust the sight within the iBowsight App. You will also be able to change the sight ring to any different color you want so that if you tilt the bow past level the color of the sight ring will change to warn you that you are not holding the bow level. In the App, you will be able to move the sight pins to sight in like you would with most other sights.

3rd Axis Calibration

3rd Axis Calibration


Color choices for pins, ring and bubble level.


The iBowsight has the ability to be a pendulum sight as well as a pin sight.



Pin Ajustment Mode





How do the lenses work with the sight?

The iPhone uses the built in optics of an iPhone, to reverse the wide angle built in lens, a fix focus telephoto lens is recommended to get a 1X1 ratio.

The app has a 4X Zoom. These can be purchased over the internet from various manufacturers with prices rangeing from $25.00 to $800.00, it all depends on how fine of optics you want... quality comes with a price.

As for optics, it is optics, you get for what you pay for. It uses standard 11/16" screw mount and I recommended non focus design lens.

The bracket will come with an installazion hole for the correction lense of choice.


The iBowSight App will be available for purchase via the Apple iTunes App Store in the near future. ( Should become avilable the day before Christmas )

The iBowSight App not only transforms the iPhone into a bow sight, by leveraging the iPhone’s advanced electronics and iOS 5, it is also a video camera which can film every shot and store them into the internal memory of the iPhone. The video will be recorded in 720p and 1080p when using the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S respectively.

In v1.0 of iBowSight, the following features are available:

  1. Sight ring can be size from 0.3” radius to an edge to edge radius of 2.1”
  2. Sight ring’s can have up to 2.6 millions colors of choice
  3. Sight ring can be micro adjust in an increment of 1/326”
  4. Each pin size can be adjust from 0.012” radius to 0.240” radius
  5. Each pin can have up to 2.6 millions colors of choice
  6. Each pin can have its own shape beside a standard dot. At version 1.0 there is a total of 9 shapes to start.
  7. One can add up to 7 pins to the sight
  8. There is built in digital zoom from 1.0X base on internal optics to 4.0X in an increment of 0.01X
  9. 3rd axis adjustment to accommodate the most demanding and complicated sight set up
  10. Built in water level for visual bow leveling
  11. Sight level confirmation via ring color choices. i.e. One can set the ring color to be green (color A) when leveled and red (color B) when the bow is tilted. Thus one can look at the ring color change instead of the water level to confirm if the bow is leveled.
  12. One can have the option to set the sight into an automatic pendulum sight when the bow is dropped below 45 degrees. This feature allows the best of both worlds. In pendulum mode, the choice of sight pin shape and color is totally independent from the original pins. However the reference position of the pendulum sight is still base on the 20 yard pin. Therefore setting the pins in use are critical for the pendulum sight options to function properly
  13. up to 20,000 storable profiles, (each profile also bow, arrow, arrow length, point weight, and other parameters settings)
  14. Operational indicators (mini icons to show on active screen which optiions are active
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