Hasbro is making a splash in the 3D community with their My3D Viewer. The $35 device attaches to the front of an iPhone or iPod touch and allows easy viewing of side-by-side 3D imagery.
The technology isn't new (it essentially turns your iPhone into an old-fashioned stereoscope), but the implementation is fantastic. Reviews around the web and on 3D message boards are very positive, and Photoshop templates [join this group if you can't open that link] are already popping up to let you use your own 3D photos with the viewer. Bottom line: It adds full color stereoscopic viewing to your iPhone. And it works.
Hasbro has also release a handful of stereoscopic apps to use with the My3D viewer, free for a limited time.
The catch? You have to have a My3D product code (printed on the inside of the viewer) to view them. In a way, this makes good sense. Without the viewer you are simply looking at a parallel stereo pair. Most people would open a My3D app, say "This isn't 3D" and rate it 1 star. And of course the goal is to sell My3D viewers. If I were running the My3D business I would have done the same thing.
But if you're reading this post you're already a step above the casual app store user (and better looking!). So for you, the advanced 3D enthusiast, is a guide to viewing My3D videos without a My3D product code. Please note, if you don't know what to do with a parallel 3D video, there is no point is doing this.
First, this only works on videos, not games.
Second, these instructions are for Mac. [Update: Johan writes in the comments that this also works on Windows. Thanks Johan!]
Third, this only allows access to preview videos and does NOT illegally unlock premium content. This method simply allows you an alternate way to view 3D commercials for My3D content. This may useful if you haven't bought a My3D viewer yet (you are buying one, aren't you?) or if you want to view these videos on a computer monitor.
Got it? OK, here we go.
1. Use iTunes on your computer to download My3D PRESENTS HD
2. Find the App in iTunes. Go to Library > Apps > iPhone and iPod touch Apps
3. Right Click on the My3D app and select Show in Finder
4. A Finder window will pop up with "my3Dpresents 1.0.ipa" highlighted. Copy this file to your desktop.
5. Close the original Finder window.
6. Rename the copied file to "my3Dpresents 1.0.zip"
7. Double click the ZIP file and it will create a folder called "my3Dpresents 1.0"
8. Open this folder and then open the Payload folder
9. Right click on "Hasbro3Dnow_HD" and select Show Package Contents
10. Open the MOV files with your video app of choice.
Popular Disney podcast+website Inside the Magic has a new menu tab: 3D Pics!
Like 3DS View, Inside the Magic features a growing set of Nintendo 3DS photos, from a number of different parks (with more coming soon).
And not only are they offered in crossview and anaglyph formats for web viewing, but also as 3DS-native MPO files. Just download to your SD card, pop it in your 3DS, and you're off to glasses-free Disney 3D. Pretty cool.
Nintendo news site 3DS View is compiling a nice collection of 3DS-created imagery, including in-game screenshots and camera photos.
Instructions are also included for converting images from the site into 3DS-readable MPO files. They accept user submitted photos as well, so get busy!
Can't wait to try out the Nintendo 3DS? Check your local Best Buy. Many (most?) of the them already have the demo kiosks up and running, and are eager to take your pre-order money.
Yesterday I had the chance to check it out for myself, and found the 3D effect to be near-perfect. The sweet spot (holding it dead center) produces no image ghosting, and the results are as good as the auto-stereoscopic screen on the Fuji W3 (pretty darn good).
The sweet spot could be wider, but unless you plan to shake your head back and forth while playing, it's not much of an issue (and will no doubt be improved in future versions of the system).
The depth slider makes it easy to tailor the effect to each game, and I found that setting the slider to halfway provides a pleasing depth effect without any eye strain.
I'm eager to see how it does with movies and photos, but the demo unit was locked into Pilotwings. There are reports that you can disable this mode, but I was approached by a sales rep before I could try.
Verdict? At $250 plus $40 per game(!), my primary use for it would probably be as a portable, glasses-free photo viewer - and my Fuji W3 alreadly serves that purpose well and puts the "cameras" on the 3DS to shame. As an iPhone game developer, it's also hard to ignore the growing number of quality Stereo-3D games on the App Store. In addition to my own experiments, there are some great 3D games like Fly Effect, Ground Effect and Crash Course (all recommended and available for $2 each). Yes, you have to wear glasses, but the effect is very similar at a fraction of the cost, and on a device you probably already own.
Still, Mario in full-color-glasses-free-3D is a pretty cool idea. A large catalog of downloadable retro games, redone in 3D and priced accordingly would make it hard to resist.