Category Archives: eyestilts

Meta-Perceptual Helmets


Cleary Connolly, an artist in Ireland, has built a lovely series of perception-altering helmets, including the “Hammerhead” (above), which is effectively a head-mounted, lens-based version of the Telestereoscope. The helmets look beautifully crafted and durable. The site has some great photos of the work in progress, and don’t miss the drawings of what they’ve got planned for the next helmets in the series. (I especially love the Siamese Helmet concept– great fun!)

Thanks to Sasha Magee for the link.

Eyeteleporter and Pinhole Selfies

From a planet not far from the Telestereoscope, two projects have just entered our universe…

The Eyeteleporter, a wearable cardboard periscope that displaces your vision about two feet in any direction:


And Pinhole Selfies, a delightful mashup of retro tech with millennial idiom:



Hat tip to Brock Hanson for the links.

Update: I just realized that the pinhole selfie photographer, Ignas Kutavicius, is the same fellow who invented the amazing solargraphy technique of capturing the sun’s movement with a long exposure pinhole camera. Brilliant!


A homegrown telestereoscope

Once in a while I get a random email from someone interested in checking out the Telestereoscope. If they’re local, I usually direct them to the CuriOdyssey museum, where we have a small one installed. But lately I’ve been encouraging anyone who’s interested to try building one for themselves. Our first prototype cost just a few dollars in materials, and can be put together in minutes. (Calibrating it takes a bit longer, but the process is educational, and ultimately quite rewarding.)

Here’s a working telestereoscope built by Will Rogers. He used metal C-clamps and some very interestingly shaped mirrors (maybe reclaimed from an old car?) giving his version a really distinctive style. I love it!

spozbo's telestereoscope

A camera lucida for all my friends!

My old friend Golan Levin and his collaborator Pablo Garcia have updated the camera lucida for the 21st century. Being a big fan of arcane optical devices, I had to have one. But this would be good for anyone who draws from life or is interested in learning to do so. Judging by the breathtaking rate at which this project’s getting backed, you probably have only a few hours to jump in. Back it here!

Joshua Foer’s Topophonic Telestereoscope

Science writer, TED talker and all-around interesting fellow Joshua Foer has built himself a device that does for sight and hearing what our Telestereoscope did for sight alone: a Topophonic Telestereoscope. You have to scroll down a bit on his single-page website to find it (apparently Foer doesn’t believe in permalinks) but I assure you there’s nothing but inspiring stuff between here and there, so it’s worth a scroll.

Meanwhile, I’ll be off on one of Foer’s tangents, trying to teach myself Mandarin Chinese.


Apparently there have been several scientific studies that demonstrate this interesting fact: when you’re wearing a Telestereoscope, not only do you look like a total spazz, you also catch like one.

Of course, we didn’t need a double-blind study to figure that out. A few tosses of a crusty old tennis ball were enough to know that we wouldn’t be using our device to cheat our way into Wimbledon any time soon.

STEREO’s first images

NASA has finally started releasing photos and video from their STEREO satellites– a pair of satellites that orbit our Sun slightly ahead of and behind the Earth, giving us a binocular 3D view of the star’s surface.

The only problem with NASA’s press site is that they only provide red-cyan anaglyph images, which can only be appreciated with colored 3D glasses. I didn’t have a pair handy, so I split the red and cyan layers into this crosseyed stereo view. Enjoy!


Crossing our eyes at the sun

Photo from the SOHO project.

When we were first building the Telestereoscope, one of my fantasies was to follow up our ten-foot machine with a really big one. Of course, to my medium-sized brain, “really big” meant stuff like clouds and mountains.

To the geniuses at NASA, “really big” means something a bit different. Like, how about, I dunno, let’s say, the biggest thing in the Solar System? The STEREO project is a pair of satellites that will take 3D pictures of the freaking sun.

Be sure to check NASA’s explanatory video, complete with totally mindblowing footage of solar explosions. Wow. Imagine a movie like this one but in stereo 3D! There’s more on yesterday’s launch at