Our culture’s obsession with the 3D experience permeates our daily news. Do you want to see the latest Marvel film in 3D? How about a flat screen TV that plays your favorite shows in 3D? Virtual Reality is real!
The technology isn’t new; it’s been used in movies as early as the 1950s. So why not bring the 3D experience to something else people love to do? Like sit around and watch online videos. That’s what the folks at Elsewhere are looking to do with their latest device.
Elsewhere is a headset that looks like something a mad scientist in a horror film would use. It’s a pair of adjustable lenses you stick to your phone. This works in conjunction with the Elsewhere iOS app. Once you load it up and strap on the headset, Elsewhere plays your favorite videos in 3D. According to creators Wendellen Li and Aza Raskin, the headset works with anything. It works with the “technomancy” process, a term used by Raskin.
In a nutshell, the headset reformats pictures and videos on your phone’s camera to make them “look” 3D. This is done via the app, which can receive more data from your phone than your camera does.
Think of it as a modern stereoscope—another device that makes images look 3D. The headset also comes equipped with features you’d find on most cameras, like contrast and zoom.
Simply put, all you need to do to work this magic is swipe your finger across the screen to change the effect. Changing the contrast will make the field of depth more or less pronounced; zooming in can make the video take up the whole screen having more of a VR experience.
Unlike so many VR projects on the horizon, Elsewhere is a real thing rather than yet another VR startup. Raskin and Li had an idea and wanted to see it become a reality.
Right now, the headsets run for $50—including the companion Elsewhere app. So far it’s only available on iPhone, but like with most programs, there’s a good chance it’ll be made available for Android in the future. It’s a cool idea, but more akin to an expensive toy than any sort of groundbreaking software.
Upon further inspection, Elsewhere is very similar to Viewmaster VR, which works with slides and brings up 3D images. When used with Google Cardboard, it can even play videos in VR. That’s not to say much about what can be done with the hardware in the future. Who knows what else Li and Raskin have planned or what other programmers will do with the headset.
Hopefully, it’s something more than simply playing videos in 3D.