Geo Week News

July 29, 2015

3D Photographs Might Soon Be a Part of Daily Life

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Matter and Form (formerly Matterform), creators of a popular scanner for 3D printing, have moved into the photography realm. They’ve just launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Bevel, an affordable ($49!) 3D photography attachment for smartphones and tablets. It may be the device to bring 3D photography into our daily lives.

Bevel uses an eye-safe laser light and plugs into the headphone jack on your device. It uses your devices existing camera to capture RGB information for colorizing the scan.

“My team and I think it’s ridiculous that 3D photography isn’t already a part of our everyday lives,” says Drew Cox, Founder and CEO of Matter and Form in a prepared statement. “The fact is that the technology exists, has been around for a while actually, but no one has taken the time to translate it into an accessible, user-friendly product. The Bevel will change the way we communicate by integrating 3D photography into our daily online conversations.”

According to the Kickstarter campaign, Matter and Form wants to be the company that helps “put the power of 3D in people’s hands” and lets us communicate daily with 3D.

“Photos are great and video is even better,” the page says. “But the problem is we don’t live in a flat, two-dimensional world. It’s not our native dimension. When we communicate with ordinary photographs, we’re never really telling the whole story because the fact is, a photograph just isn’t the whole picture.”

With the included Bevel app, you’ll be able to share your 3D photos on Facebook, instagram, tumblr, twitter, linkedin, and so on. Or, if you want, use them in an animation or for a 3D print.

Note, the product is not a 3D scanner as such, but a “3D photography attachment.” If you want to use it as a scanner, the page explains, you may need to use a 3rd party software to clean the model up for printing.

It also only works at about a meter away, but that’s apparently going to change in a future release. “We are planning on using the Bevel to capture entire buildings, and even cities.”

I have a call into Matter and Form to figure out what they mean by this last enigmatic statement. How would a 3D photography attachment for a mobile device help to capture a building, or a city? What else will this “future release” be capable of doing?

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