The iPhone can’t do 3D – that might be a great thing! – but it’s reality. Hasbro’s got a workaround – strapping your phone to a pair of big plastic goggles that convert an on-screen double image into a stereoscopic effect. It’s surprisingly fun!
As a piece of hardwareThe MY3D (out now, exclusively at Target in the US, until mid 2011), isn’t really much of a thing. Like I said, it’s a pair of plastic goggles with lenses for the 3D conversion. It feels like a toy. It is a toy. But it’s only $US35 – which is pretty cheap! And, most importantly, the apps are free (for now).
Games and virtual tours are where it shines. Using the iPhone’s gyroscope, the MY3D’s little display will move along with you, providing a neat virtual window effect. Sometimes it’s pretty fun – like Sector 17, a sort-of-generic shooter I tried out, which let you swing your head around to swivel a laser turret (great design move – little holes for your thumbs made tap-shooting a breeze). I was lucky enough to be in an office chair so that I could spin around like a dizzy idiot, but if you’re at home, Hasbro told me there is a “couch mode” which lets you nudge your field of view around by leaning, rather than 1:1 motion that requires actually moving around.
The game itself was decent – though it mostly made me think how much better a Star Wars version would be – but the novelty didn’t wear off after five minutes which is a great sign. An aquatic sim I tried out wasn’t quite as fun, but hey, that’s on the devs. And, wisely, Hasbro’s releasing an SDK this month. Will anyone actually use the SDK? Who knows. It’d be great to see someone take advantage of the phone’s other features – combining the camera, GPS, and 3D into augmented reality supergoggles could be a lot of fun. If dev support doesn’t materialise, it might be hard to justify the $US35, but if even a few quality MY3D-compatible titles pop up, it’s be an easy enough gimmick to spring for. [Hasbro]