This project's funding goal was not reached on November 1, 2013.
About this project
The TRUE-VIEW™ is a beautifully designed device that allows you to take, view and share your own 3D photos and videos, directly from your smartphone.
The device allows users to take photos and videos with their smartphone placed inside the TRUE-VIEW™.
The base of the device contains mirrors placed at specific angles, which split the image captured by the camera lens of the smartphone, into two images placed side-by-side.
These images are captured at specific distance to one another, similar to the way our eyes capture content. This principle creates the illusion of depth and is called 3D stereoscopic imaging.
When the left eye views the left image and the right eye views the right image independently of each other, the device helps the brain combine the two images into one stunning 3D image.
Our goal with this project is to bring user-generated 3D content to the fingertips of anyone with a smartphone.
The Pratley Company is inspired by Raymond Pratley, the grandfather of two of the founders. His belief in quality, heritage and "doing things properly" drives us as a business.
The TRUE-VIEW - But what is it exactly?
- The TRUE-VIEW is the world's first device that allows iOS and Android users to take, view and share stunning 3D photos and videos directly from their smartphones.
- When a smartphone is placed into the device, the regular 2D content usually captured by your smartphone, is converted into 3D.
- These photos & videos can then be viewed in 3D through the TRUE-VIEW™ itself, or on a 3D TV.
- The TRUE-VIEW™ is a sustainable device that is designed to work with future smartphone models by simply swapping the interchangeable base tray that holds the handset in place.
- The TRUE-VIEW™ has no moving parts and is compact in size.
- The TRUE-VIEW™ is designed as a retro-feel collector’s item, but has the magic of capturing awe-inspiring 3D photos and videos.
- The TRUE-VIEW™ is made from the highest quality materials with a huge focus placed on manufacturing a quality device responsibly.
People's reactions to seeing 3D photos & videos with the TRUE-VIEW™
We took a few people in the neighbourhood and filmed their reactions to seeing the 3D photos and home videos we'd made with the TRUE-VIEW. This is what happened.
How does the TRUE-VIEW™ actually work?:
The TRUE-VIEW™ has a series of mirrors placed at specific angles to each other that sit in the base tray of the device. When you insert your smartphone into the TRUE-VIEW™, two stereoscopic images are created. This split-screen effect is the secret to how the TRUE-VIEW™ produces crisp, 3D depth.
"Stereoscopics" or "3D imaging" is a technique for creating the illusion of depth in an image by means of stereopsis for binocular vision.
Two images are displayed side-by-side. The left eye sees the left image, and the right eye sees the right image. A wall inside the TRUE-VIEW™ ensures that each eye sees each image independently of the other.
The brain then fuses the two images within the mind of the viewer so that a perception of depth is captured, resulting in the two separate images appearing as one stunning 3D image.
The infographic below explains the process of how the TRUE-VIEW™ achieves this:
The TRUE-VIEW™ contains a series of mirrors placed at specific angles that split the camera lens of your smartphone into 2 x stereoscopic images, side-by-side. When these stereoscopic images are viewed through the TRUE-VIEW™ (or watched on a 3D television) they appear in stunning 3D.
It is difficult to illustrate the 3D effect that the TRUE-VIEW™ captures without actually seeing your own photos and videos with the TRUE-VIEW™ device itself. The below animation explains the basic principle of how stereoscopic 3D imaging works:
The TRUE-VIEW™ captures two stereoscopic images side-by-side. When viewed through the device your left eye sees the left image, and your right eye sees the right image independently of each other. Your brain then fuses the two images together, and with the help of the magnifying lenses inside the TRUE-VIEW, you can see your own photos and videos in stunning 3D.
What do 3D photos & videos taken with the TRUE-VIEW™ actually look like?
The magic that the TRUE-VIEW creates lies within a combination of the magnifying lenses and the way the device is designed.
There is a divider that sits inside the TRUE-VIEW between the lenses and the smartphone screen that separates your left eye from your right eye. This ensures that your left and right eye see the left and right images independently of each other.
This allows the brain to fuse the left and right image together to make it appear like you're seeing one image and the 3D effect is given.
Below is a video taken with one of our TRUE-VIEW prototypes. To you, now, it will look like two of the same videos placed next to each other. But when you look through the TRUE-VIEW it appears in beautiful 3D.
If you'd like to test out the 3D taken by one of our TRUE-VIEW prototypes, please view the video below using using a pair of the red/cyan 3D anaglyph glasses. If you would like to see how the video would play in stereoscopic, the format when played through the TRUE-VIEW, please click the cog button on the bottom right-hand-side of the YouTube video, click 'Settings,' then click 'Side by side.'
Viewing this video with red/cyan 3D glasses will give you an idea of how the content looks in 3D, although it won't come close to being as crisp, clear and jaw-dropping as the TRUE-VIEW.
This video clip was shot with one of our TRUE-VIEW prototypes and then formatted in a post-production program to allow for you to test it out at home with red/cyan 3D glasses.
The TRUE-VIEW™ Explained:
Watch Full 3D Movies on your TRUE-VIEW™ and watch your own 3D home movies on your 3D TV.
There is a number of movie clips available on YouTube that are compatible with the TRUE-VIEW™. Simply launch the YouTube app on your phone, select one of the 3D movies to watch, ensure the video plays the content side by side and hey presto! Full 3D movies right on your TRUE-VIEW™ device.
And of course, you can record your own 3D movies on the TRUE-VIEW™ and AirPlay them to your Apple TV to watch on a 3D TV too!
The TRUE-VIEW™ & Pratley App Compatibility:
The TRUE-VIEW™ will be compatible with a selected number of smartphones on both the iOS and Android platforms. The device ships with a Pratley Co Allen Key and the interchangeable base tray contains 4 x hex drive M3 6mm counter-sunk screws. The user simply orders the base tray that corresponds with their particular smartphone. Should you change or upgrade handsets further down the line, you can simply go to the www.thepratley.co website and order the correct base tray to match your new handset. We're making the TRUE-VIEW™ to be a truly sustainable product, not one that will become obsolete when the next new smartphone model comes out.
Selected handsets that will work with the TRUE-VIEW™ & The Pratley Co App:
We've done our research and we've designed the TRUE-VIEW™ to be compatible with the most popular handsets on the market. We've built the costings for this into our Kickstarter target to allow us to manufacture the TRUE-VIEW™ to be compatible with the following devices:
We've really spent our time designing the TRUE-VIEW™ to ensure that it will be a sustainable product that will fit a number of current and future smartphone models. Our current prototype is designed for the iPhone 5.
Below are some images to illustrate the design process that we have gone through.
The Design Process of the TRUE-VIEW™:
1. Concept Sketches and Idea Development:
2. Optical Laboratory Testing and Proof of Concept:
3. Pre-Prototype Mock-Up and Testing:
4. CAD Development & Engineering for Manufacture:
5. A Fully Working Prototype Ready to be Manufactured:
The Pratley Co Smartphone App:
We've created The Pratley Co Smartphone App that will be available for both iOS and Android. The app works seamlessly with the TRUE-VIEW™ device, but also has the added benefit of allowing users to take 3D photos even when they don't have the TRUE-VIEW™ on them at the time.
We're working with an established and award-winning mobile development company to get the app just right. Their team of experienced designers and programmers have been designing apps since the AppStore began, and they've created apps for household brands covering everything from successful startups to established businesses and government organisations.
Working closely with the team, we've built an extremely high quality app with a beautiful design, excellent functionality and a flawless & exciting user-experience.
We currently have a working prototype of the app that we are constantly testing out on our own devices. If we hit our target here on Kickstarter we will be able to go ahead and make the app a reality for both iOS and Android platforms.
Features of The Pratley Co App & How it Works:
- Allows the user to take stereoscopic images if the TRUE-VIEW™ is not present (although currently limits the user to taking photos of still subjects only - the device is required for video capture).
- The app guides the user through the image capture process - the user takes the first shot (left eye), and then the accelerometer helps guide the user to take the second shot (right eye).
- A green/red grid system guides the user to position the photos properly. The grid is red, but turns green when the phone is in the correct position.
- When the device is held in portrait orientation the captured images are displayed as a single 2D (normal) shot.
- When the device is held in landscape orientation the image is displayed as 2 x stereoscopic images that will appear 3D when viewed through the TRUE-VIEW™.
- Screen flow of the app works as follows: Launch App > See your Image Library > Choose "TAKE PHOTO" or "TAKE VIDEO" > If "TAKE VIDEO" selected, insert your smartphone into the TRUE-VIEW™ device > If "TAKE PHOTO" selected, then choose "USE ACCELEROMETER" or "USE HARDWARE" > If "USE ACCELEROMETER" is selected then the app guides you through taking 2 x stereoscopic images > Both photo and video is then viewed in 3D through the TRUE-VIEW™ device.
The user is then able to share content (photo & video) to social media networks including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube, or to a 3D TV via AirPlay on an iOS device.
Where are we at now?:
So here's where we're at with regards to each aspect in the process of getting the TRUE-VIEW™ device to market:
1. The TRUE-VIEW™ device: We have a beautiful prototype that has been finished to the highest standard. The mirror placement has been proven in a proof of concept 3D printed prototype. The photos and video appear in stunning 3D. We've spent a lot of time getting this right.
We want the blending of the left and right images to be as perfect as they can possibly be using today's technology, and so we will be spending a little more time in the optical lab, fine-tuning things with our team of specialists.
2. The Pratley Co App: When the "lightbulb moment" of this project came to life, we made a conscious decision to seek out the best possible teams and individuals to make this a top quality product. For the app, we approached Appster, one of the fastest growing mobile development firms in the world. They've attracted top talent to their team and they've created some award-winning apps.
They have already created the wireframes for the app, and they've given us a number of updated prototype apps for us to test out on our own devices. There are a few more features that we'd like to add and perfect.
Once Appster get the green light from us on these, they can start making the app real for both iOS and Android. This involves a few weeks of testing on different devices before we eventually get it live on Apple's AppStore and GooglePlay.
3. Manufacturing: We've thought long and hard about how to manufacture the TRUE-VIEW™ device, and we've explored every option. There are a number of ways to do this cheaply, the most obvious being to send the design files off to a factory in China and wait for them to deliver the product. That's NOT how we're doing things.
The prototype we have at present is a high quality rapid prototyped plastic, painstakingly put together by hand. There is a lot of detail that needs to go into the device, and we want to manufacture responsibly, by using recycled materials and techniques that are enviro-friendly.
As a result, we need to go out and meet with these factories face-to-face, and garner long-term, professional and personal relationships with the people who will be making this device. We've shortlisted a handful of factories at present. They're all on a par with costs and what they can deliver. We will meet with these factories and spend some time out at their facilities making sure we choose the perfect manufacturing partner.
How The Money Will Be Spent:
If we hit or exceed our Kickstarter target, the money will be spent wisely in order to deliver a top quality, groundbreaking device. Specific areas that we need to spend money on are as follows:
- A little more time in the optical lab in order to perfect the mirror placement within the TRUE-VIEW™ device.
- Refining the design of the TRUE-VIEW™ in order to ensure it works seamlessly with the shortlist of smartphones we have selected.
- A few final tweaks of the Pratley Co App, a strategic plan of final testing before going live on both iOS and Android platforms.
- Manufacturing - tooling is expensive. Again, there are cheaper ways to go about it, but you sacrifice quality in doing that, and that's not something we're even considering.
- Strategic Partnership Agreements - we want the best factories in the world to work on creating this. People who are artisans and people who share the same passion as we have, which is why we will meet the shortlist of factories in person and only then make the decision of who is the best team for us to go into business with.
Firstly, we're huge fans of Kickstarter. Secondly, we've been working on this project behind closed doors for the last 12 months in order to be able to present to you a quality device that is finished to the highest standards. We're now at a point where we need funding in order to deliver on this.
Funding aside, however, we want YOUR feedback and suggestions on how we can improve things. Got an idea for a feature? Tell us on the comments section of this page. Want something added? Don't like something on there? Let us know.
You are our 'Early Adopters' and you're as important in the process of making sure a quality product is delivered here as we are.
Production & Delivery Timeline:
We've come up with a list of some epic rewards that are all based around Pops and The Pratley Co.
- A: Rewards #1&2 - Digital download of Kickstarter video soundtrack + 2 bonus tracks, both written and recorded by Martin Brennan, a Director of The Pratley Co.
- B: Reward #3 - The Pratley Co Fir Tree Seeds. Pops loved the Holidays and gardening. Pledge this level and we'll send you a pouch of Fir Tree seeds to plant your own tree (due to quarantine laws this reward is limited to UK-based customers only).
- C: Reward #4 - The Pratley Co Tote Bag. A beautiful natural cotton tote bag to carry anything you desire.
- D: Reward #5 - The Pratley Co Leather Wallet/Card Holder. Slim. Non-bulky. Fits in your pocket without you even knowing it.
- E: Reward #6 - A2 Letterpress Desiderata Poster. As kids, Pops had The Desiderata framed and mounted on our walls, and we grew up trying to live by it's values. We still try and live like this today. This poster is beautifully letterpress printed (de-bossed) by a 1920's Heidleberg printing press.
- F: Reward #7 - A2 Letterpress 2014 Year Planner. We made one of these for ourselves last year in order to plan the launch of this very project that you're currently reading. We've amended it for 2014. Again, this will be letterpress printed by the same 1920's Heidleberg printing press.
- G: Reward #8 - We've designed and manufactured a gorgeous leather trim Pratley Co neck strap to fit the TRUE-VIEW™. Coincidentally, it also fits modern DSLR cameras too.
- H: Reward #9 onwards - The TRUE-VIEW™. Order from this level onwards and 3D photos and videos will now become a reality.
The (very) Limited "Skate" Edition TRUE-VIEW™:
As one of our top-end rewards, we're offering 100 limited edition and truly unique TRUE-VIEWs. Each device will be finished with the wood of recycled skateboard decks. Dave De Witt is an artisan of all things wood, and he's joined us to create (by hand) these collectors edition TRUE-VIEWs.
Dave takes skateboard decks and recycles them by sawing them into strips. The strips are then planed flat, cross-cut and sorted into different colour ways before being re-laminated. He then machines the wood into thin wooden veneers and applies them to the outside 'faces' of the TRUE-VIEW™ as a replacement for the stipple plastic.
This is a time consuming process done by hand. The result is each Limited "Skate" Edition TRUE-VIEW™ being a complete one-off. No two will be identical due to the varying characteristics and different colours of the wood. This is a true Collector’s Item.
The Pratley Company - Who are we?:
You could call The Pratley Company a "tech-startup". We're currently a small team of 3 people: Peter Brennan (Founder), Oscar Fernandez (Creative Director), and Martin Brennan (Director). We started the business 12 months ago in honour of our Grandfather, Raymond Pratley, who was affectionately know as "Pops". You can read about him at our blog, over here. Pops passed away at the end of 2011. He taught us to always do things properly, to always value quality over quantity, and that if you work really hard on something that you believe in, you can make it happen. We like to feel his morals guide us as a business.
The three of us bring together a unique dynamic and our skills compliment each other nicely. We're currently working with a number of unique individuals and businesses that we've drawn in to work on this project with us when we need them. We're very nearly there. If we hit our funding target we will be able to manufacture and deliver the TRUE-VIEW™ to you. That really is the bottom line.
In other news, we've recently been accepted to feature at Web Summit in Dublin at the end of October 2013. They had over 5,000 startups apply and chose 300. We're thrilled and excited.
A Special Thanks:
Besides our tight-knit team at The Pratley Co, we have a number of friends who have been heavily involved in bringing this project to fruition. As a team here at The Pratley Co, we realise that there may be people out there who do things better than we do. We also realised that these people are friends of ours, so we've sought out their expertise. They've added, and continue to add, to our mission and we owe them heaps of gratitude. Those people are:
- Tim Quinn & Will Barker at Kindleman (Thank you. Seriously, thank you).
- Peter Hamblin at Hamblin Imagery
- Josiah Humphrey & the team at Appster
- Shane Small at Creatorial
- Hanna Eastvold at Vixen Lab
- Danny Dillen at Vivenda
- Bhav Bhuthadia at Creative Bhav
- The team at Biz Dojo
- Threaded Magazine
- Brother Kid for the soundtrack
- Mark Addy at 3Twins
- George & Paul at Hemmingways
- Joe & the team at Belgrave Cartel
- Trevor Stuart-Dent at Julie's Embroidery
- Mike Falkow for the sultriness
- Ian Cooper
- Dylan Cherry for his guidance and wisdom
- Nicola Rossetti for her love and patience
- and of course, to Pops (Ray Pratley) for being the reason this is happening.
Risks and challenges
Having spent the last 12 months working on this project behind closed doors, we have already addressed a number of risks involved with getting the TRUE-VIEW™ to market.
We are, however, very aware that unknown hurdles can pop up at any time (we've already had a few of these along the journey so far!). With this in mind, we're dedicating our focus 100% to delivering this on time and to the quality you (and we) expect.
We're also surrounding ourselves with specialists and artisans in their respective areas that will be our "go to" people to allow us to deliver on our promise of creating a top quality device that will allow you to take 3D photos and videos directly from your smartphone.
We've had numerous meetings with suppliers and we're ready to pick the ones we'd like to work with from the shortlist we've created. We've set a number of KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) that need to be met and we're manufacturing the TRUE-VIEW™ with certain things in mind. Two of the most important things are quality and responsible/sustainable manufacturing.
The TRUE-VIEW™ is a complex device and it needs the correct people to bring it to life. We're not after a mass-production facility; we're meeting with artisans who have the necessary skills and know-how to make the TRUE-VIEW™ the way it should be made.
The factories that we're currently consulting with work hand-in-hand with some excellent logistics companies. We've already started addressing things like the device packaging, shipping & containers, and delivery to you, the end consumer.
We're a tight team and the reason we work well together is because we each have areas of expertise that complement the other. Peter has successfully run his own business, as well as working for established agencies & brands, and has experience in agreeing SLA's (Service Level Agreements) with suppliers and ensuring manufacturing deadlines are met on time and on spec.
Oscar is an established Industrial Designer who has worked with clients such as Honda, BMW and Samsung. He knows how to design a product and take it to market.
Martin has experience in logistics and warehousing and will play a pivotal role in meeting factories and suppliers and ensuring KPI's are met.
This is a really exciting project for us. If you're reading this, we're grateful to you for taking the time to do so. And we promise to keep you regularly updated with our progress, and to do everything we can to deliver a top quality product to you by our proposed deadline.
With sincerest thanks,
The Pratley Co.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Hhmmm.. That's the tricky part. The actual answer is "not really", unless you see it through the TRUE-VIEW™ itself. The reason being is that you're looking at a 2D monitor right now that doesn't have 3D capabilities. What the TRUE-VIEW™ does, is capture 2 x stereoscopic images that are placed next to each other, side-by-side. The same applies in both photo and video mode. You can see what the actual stereoscopic image captured with the TRUE-VIEW looks like in our "How it Works" infographic, but only when you view these stereoscopic images through the TRUE-VIEW™ device (because of the way it's designed) do you actually get the stunning 3D effect.
Good question! So the base tray of the device, the bit where your phone sits, has a selection of mirrors that are specific sizes, and are placed at specific angles. What these mirrors do, in essence, is split the camera lens of your phone into two. The light is reflected off the mirrors so that you get a double stereoscopic image. These images are placed next to each other.
Then (this is the exciting part) when you look into the eye pieces of the TRUE-VIEW your vision is split with a divider that separates your left and right eye. This means that your left eye sees the left image, and your right eye sees the right image. In other words, both images are seen independently of each other. What happens now is your brain starts to fuse the images into one, and what you get is a stunning single view of a photo or video in 3D.
True. It is high. But this is the amount of money we need in order to be able to deliver a top quality device here. We could have done this cheaper. We could have had a 50 grand target and shipped our design files off to China for some factory to knock out a quick production run of cheap, plastic TRUE-VIEWs, but we didn't want to go that route. We want this thing to be a groundbreaking device. We want it to be manufactured responsibly, and we want the most talented craftsmen using the absolute best quality materials to make the TRUE-VIEW. Doing it this way is expensive, but so worth it.
- (35 days)