The Elsewhere headset is designed to bring the photos and videos on your iPhone’s camera roll to life. Unlike most virtual reality headsets, the Elsewhere isn’t designed for immersive gaming or 360 degree video. Instead, WIRED reports, the headset adds a third dimension to two-dimensional photos and videos and lets users view the real world from a new perspective.
The strange headset is built a little bit like a 19th-century stereoscope. Viewers look through the lens and snap their iPhone on to the end at a slight distance. An app, which comes with the device, transforms photos and videos into 3D images, and even allows users to zoom in and out, and control the depth of field. Elsewhere’s creators, Wendellen Li and Aza Raskin, claim the device can even add more depth to the real world. By connecting to the iPhone camera, the Elsewhere app lets users view flat surfaces in the world around them, like screens, mirrors, and artwork, as three-dimensional. The device also ostensibly makes the real world look even “more 3D than usual—as if it had too much volume and wants to burst” (the Elsewhere website calls this experience “hyper-dimensional”).
“Elsewhere uses a new model of human perception to convert motion directly into depth,” the website explains. “Instead of attempting to reconstruct a 3D model after the fact—which fails for everyday stuff like smoke, liquids, mirrors, screens, and GIFs—Elsewhere shows two videos (one for each eye) packed with depth information encoded in the input format of the human visual system.”