Poppy Makes iPhone Images Pop-In Full 3D

By Steve Anderson June 27, 2013

While the iPhone camera has replaced the full digital camera for many users, the idea of an iPhone camera working in 3D is a little difficult to consider. At least it was, until a recent Kickstarter cropped up for the Poppy, an add-on for the iPhone that allows not only the viewing of 3D video on an iPhone, but also the shooting of same.

Poppy can work not only with most current generations of iPhone—the iPhone 5 of course, as well as the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4—but also the fifth generation of iPod Touch to give it an impressive range of operations. Essentially, the device fits over the iOS device of choice, and then, via a series of mirrors, captures a pair of stereographic images on the iPhone's—or iPod Touch's—lone camera. Then looking in the Poppy's viewfinder combines the pair of separate images—or video streams, depending—into a single 3D image or set thereof.

Those wondering about access to video may be surprised to learn that YouTube has, at last report, been offering support for 3D videos since 2009, and since that was several years ago, there have since emerged a substantial amount of 3D videos on the streaming service, so there should be plenty of content here for Poppy users to enjoy when not creating content in turn. Further, those comparing the Poppy to a View-Master from the 1960s aren't alone; even Poppy makes that comparison, though clearly, Poppy is offering a much better overall experience than the View-Master ever could. There's even an accompanying app to go along with the Poppy hardware, allowing for easier capturing of 3D video and 3D images, as well as working with that content, including saving it to the iPhone photo album and uploading to YouTube to join the large amount of 3D content already found therein.

Since the Poppy essentially operates on a set of mirrors, there are no electronics involved, no batteries to power it, and nothing in it to make the price unusually high. Indeed, the Kickstarter project offered up complete Poppy systems to anyone pledging just $39, at least, for the first 100 models. Now that those have sold out, the price to get in on Poppy is a still pretty low $49.

The Kickstarter itself, meanwhile, is doing almost shockingly well. It set out on June 26 with a goal of $40,000, but has already nearly doubled that at $70,241. It's well on its way to some very big numbers, yet as yet hasn't established any stretch goals for the project. Still, stretch goals or no, the Poppy is proving to be hotly popular, and should do very well if it goes to a full market approach thanks to the support of the same 3D video enthusiasts who put all that video on YouTube in the first place.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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