Tag Archives: Joe Heitzeberg

Poppy Launches Kickstarter to Turn Your iPhone into a 3D Camera

Poppy 3D iPhone Camera

Poppy Lets Your iPhone Go 3D

Remember the View-Master? The retro toy that would let you immerse yourself in images of the Eiffel Tower or an African safari. Well there is a new device in town that brings back the nostalgia of the View-Master while embracing our high-tech and social iPhone world.

It’s called Poppy and it’s on Kickstarter

Poppy is the name of the innovative device that lets you capture, share and view images in 3D using only your iPhone. It was created by two serial entrepreneurs Ethan Lowry and Joe Heitzeberg who are also founders of the blog Hack Things. Ethan and Joe describe Poppy this way:

Poppy has no electronics or batteries to babysit, but since it uses iPhone as its brain it’s quite a capable device. You put your iPhone in, and a system of mirrors captures two side-by-side images onto you iPhone’s single camera. Like the Viewmaster you might have played with as a kid, when you look in, lenses bring the two images together into a single 3D image. With retina quality video, the effect is immersive and really quite beautiful. It’s like stepping into another world.

Poppy went live with a Kickstarter campaign today, and as of writing this article, the campaign has raised over $25,000 of it’s $40,000 goal. [Update 6/28 - they've now raised $80K!]

Watch the video below and back the campaign if you like it. (Disclosure: a member of our staff has backed the campaign)

3D Printed Poppy?

Although Poppy is not a 3D printed product, the design and development leveraged 3D printing for rapid prototyping. Below are some sketches of the early designs, some of which were 3D printed for field testing.

Poppy 3D Printed Prototypes


We asked the founders why they used 3D printing in product development. Joe Heitzeberg shared his insights with us:

3D printing helped us make Poppy stylish and easy to use by allowing us to iterate the design and get actual usage feedback from real users before committing to the more costly work of tooling for injection molds.

The Poppy team shared some exclusive photos of their 3D printed prototypes with us. Here’s a photo of Zach Hoeken Smith, co-founder of MakerBot, holding a 3D printed prototype of Poppy in China.

MakerBot Founder Poppy 3D Printed Prototype

And below is a close-up photo of the prototype, held by founder Ethan Lowry. You can see the cross-stitch resolution lines common with 3D printed surfaces.

Poppy 3D Printed Prototype

3D Printed Poppy Kickstarter Perk

If you’re passionate about 3D printing and excited about Poppy, there is a 3D printing Kickstarter perk. Pledge $1,200 or more to receive one of the original 3D printed functional prototypes.