Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bevel 3D Laser Sensor for iPhone on Kickstarter

Bevel is an interesting concept to take Mobile Photography into the next era, that is into the era of 3D. 

Now for some years, many of the companies manufacturing mobile devices have played with the concept of 3D photography by having two lenses. This was actually a fantastic attempt to move away from flat 2D images but somehow, it didn't take off as the Internet Medium just didn't allow for people to enjoy 3D images as freely as they would. You needed an app that renders the 3D images and that didn't sit well with people who already have loads of apps running in the background of their mobile devices. 

In my previous blog post, I have detailed the likes of Seene and 3D Gif animated photos from Google Camera App. These are parallax type applications for computation photography and they are capable apps on their own except that they are severely limited in practical value. Besides enjoy a 3D twitching image of a subject, what else can it offer you?

Bevel is different. This kickstarter campaign has found a way to get a eye safe laser module to measure depth after your photo is captured, allowing you to isolate the photographed object and rendering it as a 3D image. 

The laser module plugs directly onto your mobile device via the stereo jack, and it syncs with a photo capture app. This image is then processed to show a 3D rendered image of a subject. 

Now you would expect this to be like a 3D movie experience but it isn't. What it does is that it isolates the subject and doesn't capture the background of the subject for rendering. In fact, it ignores everything else except the subject you have focused your laser onto. 

Technical information is very sketchy at this stage, as it does not mention if there is a way to digitise a subject as a 3D model for printing later on 3D printers. For this to happen, the subject will have to be rotated on its axis to gather the full laser information so I am really guessing how it would this be applied in real life. 

If this actually works, that is to create an actual 3D printable model, then mobile devices themselves have exceeded what normal DSLRs have been able to do. 

Presently, there are no commercial products that makes use of your DSLR as a 3D scanner of sorts and this would mean that the manufacturers have to get onboard with 3D printer manufacturers for it to happen. 

This technology has been made more accessible to mobile devices because anyone can create an app that makes use of the data and information gathered from an accessory device connected to your iPhone or Android device. 

Even at this stage, the technology application for mobile devices is impressive, leaving the DSLR chasing its dust trails in its wake. 


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