Leveraging a savvy algorithm, lenses, and science the Elsewhere wearable attaches to your smartphone, turning the world into your personal augmented reality playground.
Okay, not quite that.
While we can’t speak to personal experience, we’ve read enough early reviews to know this is no vaporware. Elsewhere does what it says it will do. You just add the action.
Anyone who grew up watching the Jetson’s is waiting for two things: a car that folds into a briefcase and a holographic baseball game. Elsewhere is the product that puts us one step closer to catching a pop fly in our living rooms.
The actual wearable portion of Elsewhere is nothing short of old-timey, but combined with the companion app and some sweet action, you will experience the first person 3D video and augmented reality. It even makes real life somehow more 3D.
Old-Timey Design, Modern Tech
Styled like an old Viewfinder stripped of its shell, the $50 Elsewhere viewers fold up like glasses.
When you unfold them, they allow a smartphone to strap in at a preset distance from the lenses. The app then translates 2D video into two stereoscopic images, which the Elsewhere aims into your eyes to make one image.
That final image sent to your brain is three-dimensional, even though it wasn’t beforehand.
The meta part about all of this is the video is that you’re watching three-dimensional live action, which has been compressed into a 2D video format, then pumped with artificial life to appear 3D again. Whoa.
Today’s 2D video content library is insurmountable.
When The Jetsons aired, unless you had cable, what we called “TV” was one of four options (after 1985): CBS, NBC, ABC or FOX. You watched what the broadcasters said you liked.
Now we have YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, HULU, Amazon, HBO Go, shall we go on…?
You could never watch it all, but what you watch you can now watch in stereoscopic 3D wearing the Elsewhere glasses.
Welcome Back Kotter could be improved with some 3D action. John Travolta in 3D is what we’ve all been waiting for, don’t lie.
Elsewhere’s technology extends beyond the fourth wall.
Although we can not substantiate this one, they claim it will enhance your everyday viewing of the real world. As they say, it’s “somehow more 3D.”
Since the app that runs the Elsewhere software doesn’t differentiate between video played from YouTube or live video to feed recorded by your phone’s camera, it does the same thing with both.
It breaks any flattened image into two parts, so you get the effect of 3D.
Perhaps it’s not that it makes the real world more 3D, but enhances your expectations of viewing the world through your phone’s camera.
VR will likely eclipse this simple technology in the long run. The novelty of watching old TV shows will wear off fast, but watching the video of your wedding would be pretty cool if it were more immersive.
VR will bring us to those places soon.
In fact, in short order, we will film with the intention of watching in VR. Meanwhile, there’s Elsewhere.