Earlier this year Google announced a 3D mapping smartphone called Project Tango, another impressive new piece of technology that probably won’t hit the market for several more years. Lucky for you there’s an alternative already on Kickstarter for turning your current Android phone into a 3D camera. Meet LazeeEye, a smartphone accessory from Heuristic Labs that uses lasers to create three-dimensional photos and video.
LazeeEye, a not-so-subtle combination of the words laser and eye, uses your smartphone’s built-in camera along with an attached laser illuminator to map 3D spaces. The product will launch with its own “stereo video” app for processing photos and videos, but the company hopes third-party developers will jump onboard to create a new class of applications designed to work with 3D media.
There are a ton of advantages to shooting 3D photos and videos for both professionals and amateur photographers. LazeeEye could help you measure or room or create a digital model of an object for 3D printing. It also makes it easy to change the angle and lighting of a picture or even edit out specific objects and people.
The biggest advantage, however, is that you’ll be able to snap LazeeEye onto your current Android smartphone. You won’t need to buy a new phone or even spend more than $100. For just $20 you can order the DIY kit, while $50 will get you pre-assembled and pre-packaged model. There’s also a $250 developer model that comes with an official software development kit in case you’re hoping to create your own 3D camera app.
Three-dimensional smartphone cameras may sounds like science fiction, but we’re already seeing other companies including Google move in this direction. LazeeEye has a chance to get there first, but it won’t hit its goal of shipping the first models this June without your crowd-funding cash. There’s always some risk involved with any Kickstarter project, but Heuristic Labs has brought products to the market before and it’s confident it can do it again.