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World's First 3D Webcam Tested 124

CNETNate writes "The world's first 3D webcam not only takes anaglyphic images, but will let you have a stereoscopic 3D video chat over the Internet. It's the work of a unique camera called 'Minoru,' which has been tested and documented in a feature today. Be warned though: anaglyphic photography was clearly not invented to create comfortably-viewable videos."
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World's First 3D Webcam Tested

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  • Possibilities (Score:2, Insightful)

    by theArtificial ( 613980 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:56PM (#28724183)
    Amateur pornographers of the world rejoice.
  • Profit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by matchlight ( 609707 ) * on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:57PM (#28724191)
    Step 1: build something
    Step 2: Figure out how to use it to make porn
    Step 3: make porn
    Step 4: Profit!
  • Because everyone will have to be using 3d glasses.

    Unless you make the 3d glasses somewhat invisible to the 3D camera and... ow my head!!

  • Re:Possibilities (Score:2, Insightful)

    by arndawg ( 1468629 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:14PM (#28724329)
    Shoe on head is going to be so amazing with this technloogy :D
  • Re:3D Webcam (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ivucica ( 1001089 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:16PM (#28724341) Homepage

    Don't know about the rest of you, but I don't find anything 3D about additive red+blue channel images, and I find any advertisement of a "3D movie" annoying. Unless it's holo -- as seen on Star Trek viewscreens -- then that's not 3D, plain and simple.

    And I also don't find anything innovative about this cam. How about "just" pairing two "regular" cams, and writing a virtual webcam driver that would merge the images into one? This Minoru is essentially the same thing, but packed in a £49.95 plastic box, and thus I don't find this truly 'unique'; the box is unique, and Minoru is perhaps first implementation of this silly idea, but unique is a too strong word.

    PS Slashdot, give us UTF-8.

  • by FlyingSquidStudios ( 1031284 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:20PM (#28724383) Homepage
    Then they started putting out all these animated films in 3-D- Robots, Beowulf, Up, etc. And I kept paying the extra to see the 3-D versions. Something kept bothering me though. Then, in the middle of Up, I realized what it was: after about 10 minutes, I stopped noticing that it was 3-D at all. I mean, if you get really absorbed in a movie, you don't need it to be 3-D anyway... and frankly, 3-D images never look three dimensional like they do in the real world. They have an otherworldly quality that seems, at least to me, in some ways less natural than 2-D images. Maybe it's that they don't define the subtleties of the true three dimensional world well enough, I don't know. Half the time it almost seems like I'm looking at one of those paper cut-out toy theatres where there's several levels of depth, but everything on each level is flat and it's only the levels themselves that are spaced apart. Am I the only one who feels this way?
  • by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D ( 1160707 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:32PM (#28724495)
    Am I missing something, or is this just two ordinary webcams that superimpose their images onto one another? Why did it take so long for someone to duct tape 2 cameras together?
  • by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @07:47PM (#28724617) Journal

    There's several reasons why you may not find them all that '3D'...

    starting with the obvious: it's not 3D, it's stereographic. We still call that '3D' because you get depth cues from it and depth would be the third dimension.

    also obvious: when you move your head, the perspective doesn't change. For 2D, your brain doesn't care so much* as it's been trained in seeing 2D images since you were born. Stereographic images however do fool your brain into getting a depth cue, and it assumes that because it gets depth cues, you should be able to get a different perspective by moving your head. This confusion fades after a short while (depends on the person), but it'll always be there. The worst thing is.. your eyes jitter, even if you keep your head perfectly still, your eyes will still be bouncing all over the place - with minute movements, but your brain still expects the minute differences in perspective it's used to from actual 3D environments.

    less obvious: you get depth cues of, say, an object being up close... something silly like the sword in Beowulf... right at you through the screen. You look at it, essentially crossing your eyes a little like you would any object that gets closer to you.. but now something funny happens. Your eyes, when they cross, by virtue of the brain will try to focus at a depth of the intersection point of your two eyes*. However, the film is not -actually- 3D.. so you're at the mercy of whatever focus the film's producer decided upon. So if that tip of the sword is squarely out of focus, your brain sits there wondering what the $&#* is going on. This effect is not so pronounced for surfaces further away (much like a focal distance on your camera of 15m will happily cover 14m and 16m as well, and far beyond those; while a macro shot at 2cm distance requires very careful positioning of your camera's distance to the subject to get the correct part in focus... e.g. photographing an insect and trying to get its head, rather than some leg in focus) - but at the same time, depth cues get much less pronounced as surfaces get further away - simply as they converge with perspective.

    There's a few other reasons, including keystoning of the projection (when seeing a stereographic 3D feature, try to sit as close to the center of the screen when projected out to the seating as possible), but the above are the main three.

    It bugs me as well, but for some movies it's absolutely worth seeing the '3D' version.

    * This is also the main reason why some people have issues trying to see side-by-side type stereographic images. Getting your eyes to see a surface at one distance (depending on how much you have to cross your eyes to make the two images overlap), while the lenses of each eye focus on another distance (the display surface) can be unnatural and some people simply never get it happening for them.

    For kicks.. close your left eye, now with your right eye, try to focus on a nearer distance (without cheating using another surface). Do the same with the right eye closed and left eye open. If you can do this, you can probably watch side-by-side stereographic images (of the cross-eye method) easily.
    Now for your brain kicking in.. open both eyes, and try again. You'll find this difficult at best and impossible at worst - without, in fact, going cross-eyed.

    Human visual system is fun - and that's without going into any optical illusion stuff :)

  • by kramulous ( 977841 ) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @09:57PM (#28725461)

    Clearly I had to break out my red-blue anaglyph glasses and damn that video made my eyes and brain hurt.

    The playback software has some glitches in it (not a youtube playback thing) because one image would freeze while the other eye would continue playing. They really need to fix that. The ad popup thing in youtube didn't help either.

    It was good but a gimmick at best. Plus all my work colleagues looked at me weird with the glasses on until they realise what the hell I was doing. Then they came over for a gander. Who's cool now?

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson