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Nova Minoru – The World’s First 3D Webcam

written by: Baby Rani•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 2/19/2009

The Nova Minoru is the first 3D webcam in the world. Its two cameras create a 3D image that can be seen with the help of special 3D glasses that come along with the webcam. It can be used with all the popular instant messaging portals, as a 3D still camera and also be used to create 3D videos.

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    The Minoru from Nova is the world’s first consumer 3D webcam. The word “Minoru" means “Reality" in the Japanese language and, true to its name, this webcam is designed to deliver realistic three dimensional images. Let’s take closer look at this new technological wonder!

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    Miniature Look

    The Minoru looks like a miniature Wall-E or maybe even a very cute, tripodal, hammerhead shark! This single piece webcam has two cameras on either side of it, spaced approximately the same distance apart from each other as our own eyes. According to Nova the positioning of these two cameras creates an anthropomorphic, (resembling or made to resemble a human form). This means that the users will tend to look directly into the two eyes of the webcam, the way they would like another human being's eyes.The twin cameras are meant to join images together to create a 3D effect in a process known as stereoscopy. This refers to how a pair of receptors, like cameras or eyes, pair two-dimensional images to create three dimensionsonal perception. It is the principle behind most 3-d technology.

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    Multi Position Stand

    The Minoru comes with a multi-position stand that has two front legs and one back leg, which means that it can be made to sit or stand on a surface or even perch atop a monitor, where it looks like a tiny red robot clinging to your PC’s monitor, waiting to chat with you! To view the 3D video effects offered by the Minoru, the user needs to wear special 3D glasses, five pairs of which are provided free with the webcam.

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    Easy Connection to PC

    The Minoru can be connected to your computer via a USB 2.0 port, and you will need to install the software provided with it. You will have to use the calibration tool to set the focal point at the point where everything will reflect on the perspective that is provided by the two color 3D technique incorporated by this webcam. For a webcam, this technique works quite fine, as most of the time your head is going to be stationary as you face the camera. The best place to position yourself is at a distance of about one meter from the two staring eyes of the Minoru, which will also leave you with enough space to hold up objects in front of you and create the 3D effect. It will at first take quite some tweaking with the calibration tool, as you need to get used to setting the two images – horizontal and vertical, to align with each other; but with time, you will be able to effortlessly control the look of your 3D images.

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    3D Effect

    The 3D effect provided by the Minoru works best when there is as little movement as possible. Your hand slowly approaching the camera can create quite an enthralling 3D video! Obviously, the higher quality settings work much better and offer better video capture. With too much movement, the images get too blurry. You must also remember that if the person at the other end does not have these 3D glasses, all they will be able to see is an extremely blurry image, until they switch to a normal 2D picture. So make sure you distribute a few of those 5 pairs of 3D glasses among your target audience.

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    Compatibility

    The Minoru is compatible with all the popular instant messaging portals such as Skype and Windows Live Messenger. It can also be used to take 3D still images and record 3D video that can be uploaded to video sites like You Tube. Of course, it will also function as a normal 2D webcam as well. It can be bought online from Amazon (amazon.com/Minoru) for around $90.

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