November 10, 2010, 7:40 AM — We all crave 3D entertainment in every possible form, right? (That's sarcasm, just to be clear.) We already have 3D at the theater and on the TV, and soon we'll have 3D in our Nintendo handheld gaming device. Now we're getting it for our iPhones, thanks to Hasbro.
The $30 Hasbro My3D device attaches to your iPhone (or iPod), turning it into a modern-day ViewMaster. The Associated Press says My3D "offers a 360-degree experience in gaming" which is either really intriguing or really misleading, depending on how accurate the claim is. Does it mean My3D uses the iDevice's accelerometer to let you turn around and see a whole world inside the device? If so, that'd be really interesting, closer to VR than 3D (given the goggle-like form factor of My3D). I'm skeptical that they could pull this off, however.
Content for My3D will be available from the App Store, though no pricing information is available yet (My3D won't hit store shelves until spring). Hasbro says they're working with Dreamworks Animation to develop content for the gadget.
The AP says My3D "resembles a pair of binoculars with a slot in which users insert their iPod or iPhone" which leads to the next question: if they're using this thing for games, how will you control them, given that you won't have direct access to the touch screen of your device? For video content just tilting and turning the device will probably be enough.
If 3D on the iPhone seems familiar, it may be because this is the second device that promises to bring 3D to Apple devices. Back in September we looked at Spatial View's 3D Slide, a $20 lens-holder system that positions a lenticular lens over the iPhone screen to provide 'glasses free' 3D. It was supposed to ship this fall but from looking at the web site it doesn't seem like it has yet. Response to that post was lukewarm at best, with one commenter saying it sounded like a gimmick and another doubting the iPhone had the power to drive 3D.
My3D probably avoids the processing issue given those eye holes you're peering through. Rather than interlacing frames for each eye, you just serve up a single frame, half of which will be seen through each eyepiece. But it still seems like a gimmick to me. What about you? For $30 and having Hasbro's marketing behind it (expect it to be on retail shelves wherever iPhones and iPod Touches are sold) it might do OK just as a kind of curiosity or as a gadget for (affluent, iPhone toting) kids, but it sure sounds cumbersome to me.
What do you think?