Nostalgia reigns, as the "iPhone as 3D camera" Poppy pops up on Kickstarter. The Poppy, first reported on Engadget, turns your iPhone 5 into a camera that can capture, view and share photos and video in 3D.
The box alone triggers memories of Woody Woodpecker, Mickey Mouse and a variety of cartoons on round cardboard mounts that held seven stereoscopic 3-D pairs of tiny color photographs on film, because it looks very much like your old View-Master toy. The Poppy modernizes the concept by adding a slot for your iPhone 5 to capture two stereographic images using mirrors. The Poppy's lenses unite two video streams into one 3D video experience. You can create your own masterpieces or view 3D content created by someone else, including YouTube videos.
According to Engadget's Myriam Joire, who actually tested a prototype, "The front part of the casing rotates 180 degrees to line up the optics with the iPhone's camera, enabling capture mode. Poppy exposes the phone's volume buttons and includes thumb cutouts to access the screen while you're holding it. The device comes with a matching app that makes it easier to view and capture content using the handset's volume buttons."
While it's not a pocket device, the "Poppy is the first product that lets the iPhone capture, view and share the world as it is actually experienced -- in 3D," according to co-creator, Ethan Lowry. For less than US$60, you can join the Kickstarter campaign and receive a Poppy of your very own. After the first day of pledges, Poppy has already raised almost 40 percent of its $40,000 goal.
While interest in stereographic photography has waned over the years, there are still some very active stereo photography enthusiasts. The National Stereoscopic Association lists 60 organizations world-wide that meet regularly. Contrary to popular opinion, these folks don't just deal with old products. The members are a treasure trove of information on shooting 3D with current products also. The folks from the Stereo New England group alerted me to the Hasbro My3D when it first came out and gave me many tips for shooting in 3D and for cleaning my Dad's 3D slides. Perhaps I can persuade the Poppy developers to add a stereo slide viewing attachment to their new product...