Arts Imaging

Kula lets your camera produce 3-D images

From movie theaters to handheld gaming consoles, 3-D photos and videos are a great way to create stunning viewing experiences, but so few people have access to the technology to create this content.

Kula is a new modification for SLR cameras and smartphones to open up the world of 3-D photography to everyone. The Kula Deeper is a lens attachment for SLR cameras that can take 3-D photography, while the Kula Bebe attaches right onto the phone’s lens for easy 3-D photos.

Using high precision mirrors, Kula takes a normal picture and captures it from two perspectives that can be combined to create a three dimensional image or video. The Kula system is flexible and works with any existing 3-D viewing technology, from the classic red and cyan anaglyph glasses and eye-crossing stereograms to 3-D TVs and Oculus Rift. Icelandic inventor Iris Olafsdottir has set Kula’s fundraising goal at 233,626 DKK (~ $40,000 USD), and buyers can get the Bebe adapter for 205 DKK (~$35 USD) beginning in March.

Kula is an affordable, easy to use way to create 3-D images to share with friends and family. The sheer number of ways Kula’s 3-D can be viewed makes it great for sharing and compatibility.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging

iPhone Hema-Imager add-on lets it see heat like the Predator

The Premise. The ability to sense heat visually is a technology that has existed for some time but not in the consumer space. With the number of applications that thermal vision has professionally and in the home, now there’s a device to meet those needs.

The Product. Working with any Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-capable device, the Hema-Imager offers consumers thermal imaging at a price point that is attractive enough to be practical. Detecting temperatures from -4 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the Hema-Imager has more range and doesn’t require constant shutter control or extra movement of the device. Whether detecting threats in a dark room or helping to insulate homes better to cut down on heating and cooling costs, the Hema-Imager is versatile enough and easy enough to use that it can tackle any job requiring real-time thermal imaging.

The Pitch. Hema-Imager inventor Erik Beall proudly cites the Predator movies as the inspiration behind the ability to create a device that allows consumers to see heat signatures using their smartphones. That sort of playful optimism is a staple of the Hema-Imager’s pitch video, while also staying grounded in the reality of how it can help emergency response crews for almost 1% of the cost of an existing device. The rest of the product’s campaign materials cover how it can be useful to the average homeowner, explains some of the components of the device, and how Hema-Imager stacks up to the competition. Beall needs $205,000 to offset the cost of buying a large quantity of the thermopiles necessary to make the device work.

The Perks. The Hema-Imager is available for $250 and will be out in November.

The Potential. There have been other heat mapping devices on the market for a long time now, but never in a package that is easy for consumers to purchase, set up and operate, and that is so cost-effective. While an apartment renter might not have a great deal of usage for thermal imaging, the applications for contractors all the way up to firefighters and police officers make this device a welcome addition to a relatively uncrowded market space. The added bonus of being compatible with devices that all consumers probably already have make the cost negligible for those that can use a tool such as this.

Imaging Video Wearables

meMini records your life after the fact

editors-choiceThe Premise. Sometimes the most precious memories in life can be the most unprecedented. These unexpected moments can add a delightful twist of color into life, and they should never be lost or forgotten. But oftentimes it’s either too cumbersome or too late to pull out a camera and take a video that can be cherished forever.

The Product. The meMini is a wearable camera that lets you record events after they happen. Designed to be small and unnoticeable, it magnetically clips onto your clothing and records continuous loops that can be set anywhere between five seconds to five minutes. If something special happens but you were unable to pull your camera out in time, there’s no need to worry. Simply press the Recall button and the meMini will send that moment to its secure cloud based server for you to view later on your profile. Because life’s most precious moments deserve to be shared, meMini also has an iPhone app that makes it easy to share your videos with family and friends.

The Pitch. Co-Founder Sam Lee starts off his narration of the meMini by introducing it as the world’s first wearable camera that makes it possible to record moments after they happen. He then shows the process and the detail that he and his team went through to make sure that the meMini was both simple and innovative in the way that we capture, store, and share our most treasured memories.The device eliminates the need for cords and memory cards because of its unique cloud-based storage system, which makes it easy to go back and relive memories in their purest form as they happen. Lee and co-founder Ben Bodely end the video by asking for a donation to fulfill their first order to put the meMini into production.

The Perks. Scheduled to be shipped in June 2014, a few early bird specials that will land you a meMini in the color of your choice for just $149. After this deal is over, you can still claim the same prize for $159, which is still a pretty good deal for a 1080p HD video recording device with image stabilization.

The Potential. Going head to head with wearable video capture products such as the Looxcie 3, the  meMini could change the way that moments are captured. Instead of a performance in front of a video camera, the meMini captures a memory as a candid visual that accurately portrays the moment as it happened and as you remembered it.  Wearable cameras still have their share of stigma, though, and the meMini’s battery will power it for only three hours at a time. Still, it’s the closest thing we might have to the rewind button on what we’ve experienced.

Cell Phone Accessories Imaging Video

Moment strives for new heights in mobile pics with add-on lenses

Moment LensAn early Kickstarter success story was the olloClip, a nifty add-on lens kit for the iPhone that earned more than four times its campaign goal in 2011. Since then we’ve seen other successful lenses.  But for the Moment, one team is using its cinematic lens design chops to devise a 2x telephoto and wide-angle lens that it claims will offer unparalleled quality. Alas, their output and perhaps honor has been tragically degraded by Kickstarter. As one might expect, they’re starting off with the iPhone but are working on a Galaxy option as well. Other phone users are out of luck as the right match of size and weight was paramount in the design process, according to the interview-centric pitch video. With great quality comes great aversion to cheapness. The lenses could be improving your iSight by February 2014 at $49 for either or $99 for the set.

Imaging Technology Wearables

Panvu 3D chases less dorky wearable to snap panoramic 3D photos, video

The Premise. At life’s most breathtaking and exhilarating moments, you want to be able to focus on the now, not worrying about opening up the camera on your phone or tinkering with the settings of your DSLR. You want to capture the moment with your own eyes, and have a picture worthy of the remnants of that memory.

The Product. The Panvu 3D glasses are lightweight and sporty while boasting three integrated 15 megapixel cameras. By taking dual images, it can create 3D panoramic photos that capture even more than what the eyes can see. The images taken with the glasses can be sent directly to your smart phone via Bluetooth where their app (available for both iOS and Android users) creates a 3D panorama at the with a single tap. It can also shoot video in HD 1080p at 30 fps, with 8GB of memory and a 60 minute battery life.

The Pitch. The pitch video is a sequence of transitions between slides explaining the features of the Panvu 3D glasses, and beautiful landscapes of people taking life by the horns. However, it’s unclear if these photos were actually taken with the glasses, and some of them even look like generic stock photos. But even if you do put on your “Suspension of Disbelief” glasses for those photos, it’s concerning that nowhere on the page or the video is there a person actually wearing the glasses. The glasses run the risk of looking bulky and perhaps even being uncomfortable. Their pitch doesn’t mention anything that would dismiss those concerns.

The Perks. The standard 8GB glasses can be bought with a pledge of $110. That includes the Panvu 3D Glasses, interchangeable anaglyphic 3D glasses, hard case, remote, soft tissue, and an 8GB memory card. For an extra $20, you can get a 16GB memory card instead, but the real deal is the $150 pledge that will land you the Panvu 3D Extended Edition glasses with nearly triple the battery life.

The Potential. Whether their goal is reached or not, all pledgers will receive their Panvu 3D glasses since this is an Indiegogo Flexible Fund campaign. That’s reassuring considering they’re asking for $100,000 over the course of one month.  The glasses themselves are an interesting competitor to something like the GoPro or Looxcie HD wearable imaging camera. They may be able to give a better point-of-view perspective since they are integrated with the natural field of vision with potentially less bulk. But as mentioned earlier, the quality of the experience, as well as those of the images, will be tough to convey without head-on experience.