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Just What The World Needs – 3D Selfies

Do a voice-activated search, become a Wi-Fi hotspot, set up facial-recognition access; there’s almost nothing today Android’s phones can’t do. Thankfully, they can’t shoot the 3D smartphone video which would allow every Tom, Dick, Kim and Chloe to inundate the world with 3D selfies.

But get ready. Androids are about to go 3D.

One of the cool – or scary, depending on your outlook – gadgets which was on display at this spring’s Computex show in Taipei will soon let you shoot three-dimensional video on your Android device.

The Eye-Plug

Just What The World Needs – 3D Selfies

Image credits: http://www.androidheadlines.com/2016/05/the-eye-plug-camera-lets-you-create-3d-videos.html

It’s not called an iPlug, perhaps because a version isn’t available for iPhones yet. Instead, Taiwan startup company Weeview calls its innovation the Eye-Plug. It’s a small two-megapixel camera on a USB-C dongle, which plugs directly into an Android phone to work in conjunction with either the device’s native front-facing or rear-facing camera to create 3D video.

The fact that the extra camera is low-resolution isn’t a huge deal, since it’s used primarily to provide the depth required for shooting in 3D. The primary camera on the phone is responsible for providing the quality of the video, with the dongle-cam adding depth of field more than anything else. If sales take off, the resolution may be improved in later releases.

The Eye-Plug

Image credits: https://www.cnet.com/news/weeviews-eye-plug-dongle-adds-a-second-camera-to-your-phone/

It’s not called an iPlug, perhaps because a version isn’t available for iPhones yet. Instead, Taiwan startup company Weeview calls its innovation the Eye-Plug. It’s a small two-megapixel camera on a USB-C dongle, which plugs directly into an Android phone to work in conjunction with either the device’s native front-facing or rear-facing camera to create 3D video.

The fact that the extra camera is low-resolution isn’t a huge deal, since it’s used primarily to provide the depth required for shooting in 3D. The primary camera on the phone is responsible for providing the quality of the video, with the dongle-cam adding depth of field more than anything else. If sales take off, the resolution may be improved in later releases.3d camera

Image credits: http://leadingmobilenews.com/eye-plug-lets-your-android-smartphone-capture-3d-videos/

Video created with the demo version isn’t good enough to be shown at your local IMAX theater but it’s more than acceptable 3D to be viewed in Google Cardboard, and there will be a custom viewing app released when the Eye-Plug is fully released to market (there’s no word on whether there will be an extra charge for it, but that seems unlikely). Also paired with the Eye-Plug will be editing software, to take care of color correction and video realignment that could be required because of compatibility issues between a phone’s native camera and the dongle-cam.

3d video on your smartphone

Image credits: https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/weeviews-eye-plug-dongle-adds-a-second-camera-to-your-phone/

There are other possible uses for the Eye-Plug and its editing app as well. For example, they could be used to improve the still photos taken with an Android phone by adding depth of field or an artistic out-of-focus background, not currently possible with the sensors used for ordinary smartphone cameras. Photos could also be taken separately with the dongle with any needed refocusing work done after the fact.

The dongle is about the size of a flash drive, 1½ inches by ¾ inches, and can be carried on a key ring. The best part, though, is the projected price of the Eye-Plug: $35-$40, made possible by the low resolution of the camera.

Where Can I Get One?

iPhone Eye-Phone

Image credits: https://tinhte.vn/threads/computex-2016-eye-plug-3d-camera-phu-gan-roi-cho-dien-thoai-android-quay-phim-3d-vr-gia-35.2594264/

It may sound cool, but you can’t get an Eye-Plug just yet – unless you live in Taiwan. The company is in the process of looking for international distribution partners, though, so a deluge of 3D videos from people who we don’t really need to see in 3D may be on the way later this year, along with an iPhone Eye-Phone.

Oh, and if you were wondering about the Android facial-recognition feature we mentioned at the start, you probably already have it on your phone. Just go to settings > security > screen lock and you’ll find it there.

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