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Turn a smartphone into a 3D camera with this lens accessory

turn smartphone 3d camera kula bebe iphone
Image used with permission by copyright holder
About a year ago, we first reported about the Kúla Deeper, an accessory that attaches to your DSLR’s lens and turns it into a 3D camera. The device couldn’t be simpler by design, featuring little more than four mirrors that project two slightly offset images onto the camera’s sensor in order to create a 3D photograph or video. Via special software, the resulting images or video clips can then be turned into various 3D formats, for example for a stereo viewer, anaglyph glasses, or for cross-eyed viewing.

Its designers originally tried to fund the Kúla Deeper via Karolina Fund, but only made it to 69 percent of their $70,000. Now the Kúla is back, and this time it’s on the much more popular crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. But what’s more, its makers have also created a smaller version of the Kúla, called the Bebe, which brings the same 3D photography capabilities to smartphones.

Deeper Bebe Kula
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Kúla Bebe truly deserves this name, as it looks like a baby version of the larger Deeper. Internally, it works similarly, by creating two slightly offset images using four mirrors, that can later be turned into a number of 3D formats using Kúla’s proprietary software. One way to experience your 3D photos and videos is Kúla’s own CinemaBox, which attaches right to the display of your smartphone. Another easy way is to create an image for cross-eyed view that you can either view on your screen or print out.

Related: Now your iPhone 6 can take even better photos with Olloclip’s 4-in-1 lens

An example of a anaglyph 3D image.
An anaglyph image taken with a Kúla deeper. Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Kúla Bebe will be available for Apple’s iPhone 4S, 5S, 6, and 6 Plus; Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Air; and Samsung’s Galaxy S4, S5 and Note 3, as well as a universal version that should fit most other smartphones. The Kúla Deeper comes with a 77mm thread and screws directly into the filter thread of your lens. The DSLR version of the Kúla starts at $98 for early-bird backers, while the Kúla Bebe can be yours for as little as $35.

This time around, Kúla’s makers seek a funding goal of just $40,000, which makes it much more probable that the project will finally be funded, especially now with the addition of the smartphone version. However, we must add that 3D isn’t exactly a must-have feature that consumers are scrambling for. TVs with 3D (which can display the content made with the Kúla accessories) have never truly taken off, and neither have the few smartphones with 3D, like the HTC Evo 3D. Still, a novelty accessory might find more appeal with folks who would like the feature.

If you’d like to support the Kúla Deeper and Bebe project, or would like to own one (or both), you can pledge any sum from $1 upward over at the project’s Kickstarter page.

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Felix Esser
Felix is a freelance tech journalist with a strong focus on photography. Based out of central Germany, he contributes to…
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