Combining low-cost wireless EEG sensors with smartphones offers novel opportunities for mobile brain imaging in an everyday context. Here we present the technical details and validation of a framework for building multi-platform, portable EEG applications with real-time 3D source reconstruction. The system – Smartphone Brain Scanner – combines an off-the-shelf neuroheadset or EEG cap with a smartphone or tablet, and as such represents the first fully portable system for real-time 3D EEG imaging. We discuss the benefits and challenges, including technical limitations as well as details of real-time reconstruction of 3D images of brain activity. We present examples of brain activity captured in a simple experiment involving imagined finger tapping, which shows that the acquired signal in a relevant brain region is similar to that obtained with standard EEG lab equipment. Although the quality of the signal in a mobile solution using an off-the-shelf consumer neuroheadset is lower than the signal obtained using high-density standard EEG equipment, we propose mobile application development may offset the disadvantages and provide completely new opportunities for neuroimaging in natural settings.