Just two megapixels and $40 turns any Android into a light field, 3D camera

The Eye-Plug may only add a 2-megapixel camera to Android smartphones, but don’t scoff at the little dongle. The $40 accessory, introduced at Computex, can add 3D functionality and refocusing capabilities — and therefore brings depth to simple smartphone images or video.

The Eye-Plug, created by Taiwanese startup Weeview, plugs into a smartphone’s USB port. Using the built-in camera for the main footage, the second perspective allows software to create video and stills with depth.

Even though the second camera is small with a low resolution, that extra data lets any Android smartphone with a USB port shoot in 3D or take photos that can be refocused later, similar to a light field camera. The 3D footage can then be viewed with Google Cardboard.

Because the camera plugs into a USB Type C port, it can be used with either the rear-facing camera or front-facing selfie camera.

Along with adding 3D and refocusing capability, the accessory can simply be used to add more depth of field to smartphone photos; because of the smaller sensor, phones aren’t typically able to produce out-of-focus backgrounds in-camera.

The lower resolution helps to keep the cost down, and since the Eye-Plug data is used only to add depth to the footage from the smartphone camera, those 2 megapixels appear sufficient, at least for the first launch anyway. The price roughly converts into $40.

The little camera measures roughly 20mm by 40mm — small enough to store on a key ring.

The product was introduced at Computex in Taipei. The developing company is just a ten-person startup, so the device is only currently available in Taiwan, but the Weeview is reportedly looking for international distributors.

Low resolution aside, the Eye-Plug looks like a neat smartphone accessory that can add unusual capabilities to an Android camera.

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Photography

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Photography

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.
Deals

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.
Photography

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.