As an avid foodstagrammer, I am all too familiar with the frustration that accompanies two-dimensional iPhone photography. For me, an evocative viewing experience is crucial; I should be able to not only appreciate the visual splendor of a well-executed plate of food, but also vividly imagine the smells, textures, and tastes with which it might be associated. Since only one perspective is on display in an ordinary 2D photo, it takes an abundance of natural light and an incredibly artistic eye to evoke these senses.
Given the painstaking attention to detail that often goes into a successful foodstagram, it surprises me that it took this long for someone to add one more dimension into the equation. Innovators at the Swiss software company Dacuda are about to launch the art of food photography into a brand-new era later this month with their newest camera application, 3DAround.
According to the Dacuda official website, the secret lies in the company’s patented SLAM Scan® tool. Instead of taking individually existing photographs and stitching them together, SLAM Scan® technology allows the user to record a video of the desired subject from all possible angles, permitting the software to pick up on its finest details while simultaneously crafting a high-quality, three-dimensional image.
Food photographers will be able to render 360-degree photos of their breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and everything in between. To view an image from all angles, one must simply swipe a finger across the screen, which spins the image around to present the complete details of the photo from all perspectives.
“It’s a really good time for this kind of tech because Apple just opened up the camera [application programming interfaces],” said Dacuda founder Dr. Alexander Ilic in an interview with TechCrunch. “We [only] need pretty low-level access to controlling exposure time, focus, and more.”
With Apple’s recent release of iOS 8, iPhones are now able to support Dacuda’s latest innovation. Though the launch of the application certainly has the potential to alter the face of food photography from both an artistic and technological standpoint, some believe its practical purpose is unclear.
“It’s an interesting concept, and it could have unique applications in art,” said Tyler Harden ’17. “Additionally, it represents the best quality of smartphones: the ability to cheaply distribute a wide array of high technology to a more general audience. All that being said, I am a bit confused as to the real practical uses of such an app.”
It’s hard to predict how successful the app will be before it becomes available to the public. In the meantime, technology enthusiasts and food photographers alike anticipate its official release.