Do you remember View-Masters, those plastic doohickies that held pairs of photos on round disks? When you peered through a View-Master, the image pairs (which were actually stereoscopic 3-D photographs) resolved into an image with more depth than your standard Kodachrome print.
Entrepreneurs Ethan Lowry and Joe Heitzeberg have created a modern View-Master of sorts, called Poppy. But instead of only viewing someone else’s 3D imagery, you can also use Poppy with an iPhone or iPod touch to create your own 3D still images and even 3D video.
To shoot photos and video, you insert your phone in a slot on top of Poppy. Its mirrors split the visual information from the single iPhone camera into two stereographic images. Once you look through the viewfinder, Poppy’s lenses combine the two into a single 3D still image or video.
Poppy is compatible with iPhone 4, 4S, iPhone 5, and the fifth generation iPod Touch. The founders are also building in a bit of extra space, should it be needed for future iPhones. To accommodate other phones—which have their cameras in different areas of the case—the manufacturers would have to retool Poppy so that the mirrors line up correctly.
Poppy is a successful Kickstarter project that will be fully funded on July 26, so you still have time to jump in at the $49 level and receive one of the devices by December. No word on how much Poppy will cost on the open market.
Existing camera and video apps work with Poppy, but there will also be an iOS app just for the new device. It will make it a little easier to capture 3D, save it to your iPhone’s photo album, upload your videos to YouTube, and more.