Remember those pinscreen contraptions? There was a hard plastic screen and a box filled with movable pins. When you put your hand under the pins, you could create an imprint of your hand made out of the pins. Inevitably, someone would stick the box on their face and make an imprint of their nose and mouth. Usually, these pinscreens were only big enough for a hand.  With PinBooth, you can turn your camera into a giant pinscreen toy.

 

A pinscreen toy.

Instead of seeing only a nose and mouth, what if you could see an entire face turned into a pinscreen? PinBooth is a universal app that lets you take a picture, either new or existing, and make it look like it was placed under a pinscreen. Not only does it turn the picture into hundreds of little dots, but there’s a 3-D aspect to the app.

A Pinbooth picture of a little girl.

While some apps are entertaining because they blend different features or show you how old you can look, PinBooth’s entertainment comes in seeing how these hundred of pins would respond if that picture was 3-D. Holding and dragging your finger around the screen will rotate the pinscreen. This allows you to see the depth of the different pins. It doesn’t just make the picture look like it’s full of textured pins. It actually simulates how deep or shallow each pin would be in real life. You can also turn the pinscreen around completely and see what the backside would look like, almost like a photo negative.

If you try to take a picture that contains a wide variety of things, it’s not going to turn out well. With that in mind, the developers created some tools to help you center and focus on one particular aspect of a picture so that you can have the best results. Think of it in terms of narrowing the forest down to a single tree. You can also manually adjust the contrast so that the pins stand out better.

You can pinch and zoom to make the pinscreen itself bigger if you need to get a better look at some of the details. If you find that you’ve rotated the picture too much or messed with the zoom and contrast features more than you should have, you can press the refresh button and have the default picture restored.

Did you ever play with a pinscreen as a kid?

PinBooth is available in the App Store for $0.99.