Remember the old ViewMaster toys? All you had to do was put in one of the special cartridges and you could go “sightseeing” in 3D. A new invention by entrepreneurs Ethan Lowry and Joe Heitzeberg harkens back to the old ViewMaster days, only instead of a cartridge, you have your iPhone — and instead of just viewing 3D content, now you can capture it as well!
Poppy is a no-batteries-needed optical device that turns your iPhone 4, 4S or 5 into a 3D camera and display capable of capturing and viewing stereoscopic 3D images and video. Here’s a quick Kickstarter intro by Lowry and Heitzeberg:
As you can see, you don’t need any special equipment or batteries or even skills to use it. Just slide your phone into the slot and either watch a 3D video (from, say, YouTube) or flip the end and snap/record 3D creations of your own using the corresponding app.
You can control the camera from the exposed volume buttons at the top, and navigate your phone using the thumb cutouts on the bottom.
The possible uses of a device like this are endless — from real estate photography to bragging rights when you’re the only one of your friends to capture a meaningful moment in 3D. The creators are most excited, however, to see what uses you all come up with for Poppy.
To do that, they first have to get it funded though, which is why they’ve taken to Kickstarter and set a goal to reach $40,000 in the next 29 days. So far, they’ve amassed almost $13,000 and received attention from almost every major tech blog — it looks like the campaign will indeed be successful.
Pledge levels range from $1 for a big “thank you!” to $1,200 for one of two original 3D printed prototypes of Poppy, but getting your own will only cost you $50. You can also opt for a Poppy “plus” package that includes a neck strap and carrying case for $60, or a limited pre-production model for $300.