Bevel Preview: 3D Photography For the Masses
Bevel – From 2D to 3D
Digital photography is great, but a lot of hobbyists begin to get bored with it quickly. After all, we’ve been making 2D photos for almost 200 years. Always shooting in two dimensions does have its limits, and even though they want to push past that, they just don’t have the tools to do so.
3D imaging is hot right now; the prevalence of 3D printers is a testament to that. But what about 3D photography? Here’s where Bevel, a new smartphone device, steps in. It’s a cool idea that elevates ordinary photos into 3D experiences.
The Bevel Kickstarter ask just wrapped up, and it brought in over $300,000 USD — 50% more than its original goal — in a brief, one month campaign. That’s impressive, but it also shows how many people are interested in making 3D images.
Easy to Use Photography Gadget
Perhaps the best part about Bevel is just how small it is: slightly bigger than a standard USB drive. It fits right in your smartphone’s audio jack, and yes, it works with both iOS and Android devices. Using the Bevel app, you can use the device to scan an object. It uses an eye-safe laser, and you can scan from multiple angles.
What can you do with the 3D images you create with Bevel? Anything you want! You can share them and have the coolest images on social media (for now, anyway), or you can incorporate them into more artistic work. They can be used with animations and 3D printing as well.
Chatter from the Pros
Bevel is not quite ready for prime time just yet, and as a result, no one in the media has really been able to test one out firsthand. However, there’s been some positive chatter and anticipation for this little piece of technology, both in terms of what it can do and what its future imaging implications are..
Engineering.com’s Bevel Preview
On Engineering.com, writer Tom Spendlove calls Bevel an “awesome product” and muses, “3D photography feels like a step on the path to hologram generation, and that’s a very inspiring thing.”
NDTV’s Gadgets Bevel Preview
Finally, NDTV’s Gadgets site has a write-up that’s a bit sceptical of a low priced 3D camera, but concedes that “the concept is cool enough that we’d be interested.”
Tech Crunch’s Bevel Preview
Tech Crunch reviewer Fitz Tepper is enthusiastic about the possibility of an affordable 3D camera, and seems optimistic about the Bevel’s potential.
And Cashew Too
Matter and Form, Inc., the Canadian company behind the Bevel, has also created Cashew, a 3D photo sharing site. It’s still in Beta and is currently invite only, but we expected it to up up and running once initial Bevel orders start shipping (probably late 2015 or early 2016).
What’s cool about Cashew is that it works directly with the Bevel app; you can upload right to it. Cashew also provides users with some options for things to do with their 3D images, such as having a partner 3D printing company make prints.
The Future of Photography?
Matter and Form, Inc. is committed to 3D photo technology. They recognise that life happens in 3D and that perhaps images should as well. In fact, Bevel is not their first 3D photo device — they also make an affordable 3D scanner.
While we don’t see traditional photography going away anytime soon (there are still lots of people who prefer the darkroom to Photoshop), 3D photography from Bevel and other devices down the road could have a big impact in how we use images to communicate. It’s still a new field, though, and if there’s one thing we are confident about, it’s that the full potential of a device like Bevel is largely untapped. There’s a lot more to come from the world of 3D photography.
A Cool Tool
There are lots of creative digital tools out there for making new, image-based work. Bevel is one of the latest, and it’s a good one. Yes, there are apps that can help you make 3D images without the use of a separate device, but Bevel makes the process fast and user friendly, which counts for a lot.
You can still pre-order a Bevel for $49 USD on its Kickstarter page. The Bevel website has them for $79, and once they’re available in early 2016, that price will likely jump to $99. Its compact size, ease of use, novelty, and affordability make Bevel a fun little gadget for anyone who is interested in pushing the boundaries of photography.