A downloadable project for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android

Pocket Black Hole is a simple app that allows you to play with the light-bending effect of a black hole. Take a selfie, or a photo of your friends, with a black hole!

A black hole is a very compact and massive object, in fact its gravity is so strong that it will bend the path of light passing close by. If the light gets too close, it cannot escape, and that is why the object appears to us as a black hole in the sky.

Our app does not use the full equations from Einstein's theory of general relativity to compute this distortion. Instead we are using a much simpler formula to create a similar visual effect. This app is free on all platforms, it has no ads and no in-app

What is new in version 1.1

  • made app compatible with newer versions of Windows and iOS
  • added a still background image in addition to the camera texture
  • added German translation
  • fixed a few minor bugs

Instructions for the PC version


  • Use the mouse to drag the black hole around
  • Use the mouse wheel (or zoom gesture) to change the size of the black hole
  • Press SPACE to take a picture
  • Press ESC to exit the about screen or to exit the app


  • Windows PC with Windows 7+
  • or Mac with OSX 10.x
  • or a modern Linux installation
  • iOS 8 or newer
  • Android 4.1 or newer
  • a working and compatible webcam

Known Issues:

  • We cannot test or support the Linux version at the moment. Not all web cameras will be recognised. If no compatible camera was found, the program simply displays a black screen but no error message.
  • The resolution of the snapshots are limited to the screen, resolution even if the native camera resolution is better.

Installation instructions:


  • Extract the downloaded archive with the OSX archiver
  • Start the PocketBlackHole.app file


  • Unzip the downloaded archive
  • Start PocketBlackHole.exe


  • Unzip the downloaded archive with 'unzip'
  • Start PocketBlackHole.x86 (for 32bit OS) or PocketBlackHole.x86_64 (for 64bit OS)

The app is also available on the Apple App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for your Android.

You can contact us at www.laserlabs.org or just leave a comment below.


pocketblackhole-osx.zip 21 MB
Version 1.1 Sep 12, 2017
pocketblackhole-android.zip 16 MB
Version 1.1 Sep 12, 2017
pocketblackhole-windows.zip 19 MB
Version 1.1 Sep 12, 2017
pocketblackhole-linux.zip 36 MB
Version 1.1 Sep 12, 2017

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