The British company Minoru has recently introduced an innovative webcam which offers a unique 3D experience. Unlike most webcams that capture regular photos, this new gadget captures still photos and live videos in 3D – which later could be sent over the internet to family and friends.
The new Minoru camera supports several video chat services (including MSN Messenger, AOL IM, and Skype) as well as standalone 3D video capturing and the finished videos can be uploaded onto YouTube. The three-dimensional effect is achieved thanks to the recipient’s “special” 3D glasses.
Most human beings use what is known as binocular vision to perceive depth and see the world in 3D. The binocular vision system relies on the fact that we have two eyes, which are approximately 3-inches apart. This separation causes each eye to see the world from a slightly different perspective. The brain fuses these two images together; it understands the differences and uses them to calculate distance creating our sense of depth and ability to gauge distance.
The new webcam utilizes two lenses which enables 3D capturing. The reason for the dual-input system is the similarity to human eyes; the three-dimensional, digital experience requires the computer to have “stereophonic receptors.” Furthermore, in order to view the 3D image (or video) one has to use special red-and-blue glasses (like the ones common back in the eighties). Although this is a drawback, one can easily improvise such glasses using simple colored cellophanes.
Minoru’s 3D Webcam is currently competing in the CES 2009 Innovations competition, and according to the company it will be on the market around December and will be priced under $100.
Ehud is a student for Communication & Journalism as well as Business Administration in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has knowledge in computers' software and hardware and a keen interest in consumer electronics and innovative gadgets.