For decades, much of what movie and TV companies have referred to as 3D has really been stereoscopy, the illusion that parts of an image are at different levels of depth in front of your eyes. We’ve even seen a few products that can turn the iPhone into a 3D viewer. But true 3D images can be rotated in space and seen from multiple angles. We’ve even seen a crowdfunded gadget to turn an iPhone or two into a stereoscopic image capture devices.
But Bevel is different. The iPhone add-on combines invisible lasers and the iPhone’s camera to create true 3D images of everything from adorable desserts to creepy floating heads that can be rotated once captured. That’s not too surprising given that the Bevel was developed by 3D scanning company Matter and Form. Captured 3D images can even be printed on a 3D printer although the campaign doesn’t show any examples of how that turns out.
And Bevel — which needs to be charged to do its thing — cannot capture a full 360 degrees around an object, at least not yet. These shortcomings are easy to forgive, though, given that Bevel is only $49. It’s due to ship in December. Matter and Form seeks to raise $200,000 by August 26th. The product is available in black or white (sorry, gold iPhone users) and a brushed aluminum version going for $300.
Bevel is remarkable both for its size and price; the developer is throwing in a keychain attachment that will help in taking it anywhere. It could prove very useful as a quick and dirty way to provide a sense of what different objects look like although chances are images will need a bit more cleanup than the campaign lets on. Still, as a simple add-on to one of the world’s most popular phones, it stands to greatly increase the number of 3D modeled images out there.