Remember Poppy? It’s that device — now on Kickstarter — that lets you watch and record 3-D photos and videos using your iPhone. It’s kind of like a Viewmaster for the digital age.
Anyway, a lot’s happened since we first wrote about the company’s Kickstarter campaign. It’s racked up nearly 2,500 backers and met its funding goal, raising more than $150,000 (compared to the $40,000 it was hoping to raise). It’s also announced a slightly more expensive version of the device in white — for people who want to be a little bit more fashionable, I guess.
With that success already behind it, the team behind Poppy is thinking about other things that can be done with the device, looking to go beyond just taking and viewing 3-D photos and videos. One possibility is to provide its customers with 3-D-based games, and it’s courting game developers to make that a reality.
Founders Joe Heitzeberg and Ethan Lowry see an opportunity for augmented reality and virtual reality games being made to work with Poppy. While it works to shoot photos and videos, it would also work equally well as a viewfinder for games that wanted to layer AR images on top. Developers could even use the iPhone’s volume buttons, available at the top of the device, for controls. At $49, Heitzeberg says, the device could be a poor man’s version of the Occulus Rift, particularly for casual games.
To be honest, there’s nothing really to stop developers from building for the device. It doesn’t require any special API or anything, just visualization that takes into account the two sides of the screen that get combined in the viewfinder.
Of course, it will help to actually get Poppy into developers’ hands so that they can test it out themselves and refine whatever they hope to build. On that front, now that they’ve reached their funding goal, the guys working on Poppy are hoping to start moving into production and hope to have units shipping by the holidays.
The Kickstarter’s still going for another week. Want one? Get it here.