In February, we wrote something about a new project by Google, called Project Tango. This is a phone that can map the entire space around a user. However, this revolutionary project requires an entirely new smartphone and the system will be very pricey, just like similar systems such as Kinect and other 3D projects. A new Kickstarter initiative, LazeeEye by Heuristic Labs therefore aims to reduce costs for 3D images on phones, creating a new 3D photo app.
What the LazeeEye does is upgrading your smartphone into a 3D camera, therefore using a laser illuminator hardware add-on as well as a stereo vision processing app. The name is a combination of ‘laser’ and ‘eye’, meaning a camera normally only has a single eye, but is now provided with a second laser eye. The eye, which normally is ‘lazy’, can use this second eye to get a 3D perception of what it sees.
In their accompanying video, the makers ask their viewers the question how cool it would be if we could all be making 3D images instead of 2D photos. With a 3D technique, depth can be added to a photo, but there’s more than just this element of depth. Users will also be able to change the angle of lightning of the photo after it’s been made. Moreover, users will also find it easier to perform a variety of photo editing effects and there will be the possibility of implemented augmented reality games.
But what’s new? Similar techniques have been worked on for ages now by a variety of companies, such as Google and Microsoft. What LazeeEye however distinguishes from the rest is their aim to add this app to the market for a very low price. The Kinect from Microsoft costs about 150 dollars and Project tango from Google will even cost more than 500 dollars, while LazeeEye will only be priced 25 dollars. In other words: it’s the team’s aim to build a 3D photo app for the masses.
Surely an interesting project, but will it be good enough? Only time will tell, but it will probably not be too much of a problem for the team. The project is now on Kickstarter and they need a 250,000 dollars funding to make it happen. At the time of writing, they have already received a funding of more than 10,000 dollars, and the team still has as many as 48 days to go.
Image credits: Heuristic Labs.