The View-Master of Webcams

3D Webcam offers stereo images.

I'm a big View-Master collector, but even I never sat back and wondered aloud, "When will they come up with a Webcam that does 3D?" Then arrives the Minoru 3D Webcam.

Minoru 3D Webcam. The name means "reality" in Japanese.
Minoru 3D Webcam. The name means "reality" in Japanese. PDT, Ltd.

The Minoru has two discrete lenses spaced at roughly human eye distance, but unlike a View-Master reel, it doesn't deliver two discrete images, rather it mixes both together into a blurry-looking mess that requires the goofy two-color glasses that have kept 3D on the launch pad since Day 1.

More encouragingly, you don't need a special Web platform or software for viewing: standard video IM clients or YouTube and its ilk are all compatible; the video will just look badly out of registration until you put the glasses on.

I can't help but wonder how much more satisfying the experience might be if the Minoru fed two discrete images to a viewer on the other end wearing video goggles .

The Minoru is supposed to ship December 2008 for less than $100.

About the author

Brian Cooley joined CNET in 1995 and always comes at technology from the real consumer's point of view. He brings his high energy, often skeptical style to all avenues of CNET coverage, with an emphasis on car tech. You'll also find him frequently on television, radio and the TV screens at Costco!


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