Kickstarter Alert: Poppy Turns An iPhone Into A 3D Camera

Computers & Mobile Photography & Video
Kickstarter Alert: Poppy Turns An iPhone Into A 3D Camera

Here’s a fun contraption that’s past its funding goal on Kickstarter; it turns an iPhone into a 3D camera and viewer:

Poppy works with iPhone 4, 4S, iPhone 5 and the fifth generation iPod Touch. You put your phone in and Poppy’s mirrors capture two stereographic images using your iPhone’s single camera.

When you look in the viewfinder, Poppy’s lenses combine the two video streams into a single, crisp, 3D video. It’s beautiful, and really hard to describe or show in two dimensions.

It doesn’t need batteries and there are no electronics. It’s just optics and your iPhone’s camera and screen, so we can keep the price low without sacrificing quality.

No Android (or other phone) version yet, but in their FAQ, they say:

For now, we’re only working with the iPhone. Poppy is big enough to fit other devices (it’s wide enough for the Samsung Galaxy S4), but the camera placement on many devices is different enough that we’ll need to swap out a part to make the mirrors line up correctly. We’re keeping a tally of how many people ask about this, though, so please let us know if you’d like to see Poppy for your phone. We’d love it to work for everyone!

I backed this myself, and I’m happy to see that they hit the stretch goal that puts a tripod mount on every unit. I’m looking forward to taking a bunch of 3D pictures with this.


6 thoughts on “Kickstarter Alert: Poppy Turns An iPhone Into A 3D Camera

  1. ICantBelieveItsNotButter says:

    I suggest everybody checks out the sample and example footage and shots before backing.
    Don’t have “unrealistic” expectations of what the mirrors achieve for the camera…

    1. joe heitzeberg says:


      Thanks for covering us! We’re pretty excited to create this product with the help of our over 2000 backers (and growing every day).

      People who’ve tested Poppy love it and we can’t wait to get it out there. Pairing two retina-resolution images (each is one-half of a retina screen) and viewing through the lenses is much clearer and cleaner than, say, 3D via red/blue glasses.

      To the other commenter who suggests that other 3D products exists, sure –that’s true – but Poppy is the first to combine capturing, viewing AND sharing in one device for iPhone, and at a Kickstarter pledge of $49 (no tax or shipping to US backers on Kickstarter) that’s quite possible the most accessible stereoscopic camera ever.

      Please check us out on Kickstarter.

      Joe Heitzeberg

  2. kongorilla says:

    I feel it’s a bit disingenuous of the Poppy folks to not mention, especially in their “inspiration” section, that what they’re doing is making an iPhone version of a product that already exists for other cameras (from other manufacturers). Their product isn’t as novel as they make it seem, apart from being made specifically iPhone, and the coverage I’ve seen on various sites hasn’t included much reporting, just links to the campaign.

    Search for “3D Lens-in-a-cap” for a SLR version, for example. It’s also worth mentioning on this site that MAKE-type people have been building their own mirror and beamsplitter 3D rigs for decades (Both alternatives would result in better images, if the example Poppy photos are any indication).

    If you just want a similar, cheap, side-by-side viewer (one of the features touted by Poppy), those are also easily bought on the web – such as here If you’re a maker, print one and add mirrors (full disclosure – this is a shameless plug):

    Just doing my part to combat rampant Kickstarter mania with a little reporting. Yes, buy a Poppy for your iPhone and have a lot of fun getting into 3D photography. Hopefully it will inspire you to look into the alternatives later on.

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I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

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