Pocket Black Hole


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!

This app is free on all platforms, it has no ads and no in-app purchases.

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.

Download on itch.io


Gravitational Wave Group, University of Birmingham.


— 2016


  • Unity engine
  • Augmented reality



  • 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

Outreach events and exhibitions:

You are very welcome to use Pocket Black Hole during your events or exhibitions. After all, this is what we developed it for. We would love to hear your feedback, for example, how the app worked, or how your visitors reacted to it. You can download a high-resolution (pdf) version of the flyer below. It shows the URL and QR code for visitors to download the app and show it to their friends.

Pocket Black Hole Handout