It’s a big day for my company Matter and Form. Today we’re launching Bevel on Kickstarter, and we’re hoping it will change the way people communicate. Bevel is a 3D attachment for smartphones and tablets that lets anyone create and share vivid 3D pictures. We priced it at under $50 in the hopes that Bevel could make 3D content creation accessible to everybody.
Since this is a law blog (and not just a place to advertise Matter and Form’s fantastic product line), it’s worth talking briefly about the IP implications of a technology like Bevel. I’ve been asked a lot about the capacity for our 3D capture technologies to infringe IP. And it is true that like any copying and capturing technology, Bevel has the capability of aiding in the infringement of valid IP rights. But consider that the 2D cameras already built into our phones are responsible for creating more unauthorized copies, derivative works, publications and distributions than ever before. And while they’re barred in some spaces, I personally believe that it’s best to find ways to accept and encourage the use of powerful new technology. A rock band can ban cameras from their shows, and they might even succeed – but they’ll miss out on the positive social impact of people sharing the photos and videos they would have taken. Putting this kind of power to capture and create in everyone’s hands has led to a flood of IP creation. It has made it possible for more people than ever to be creative and to be rewarded both socially and financially for their creativity. (And that’s a good thing, regardless of what you think of Instagram filters)
My colleague Laura and I are working on an academic paper on this subject, so I’ll have more to say about 3D models, derivative works and infringement soon. In the meantime, just so we have a common frame of reference, you should probably order a Bevel!