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Smartphone app yields fast 3D scans

Posted: 27 Aug 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsoft Research  3D scan  smartphone 

Microsoft Research has developed an app that can turn a smartphone into a 3D scanner, without requiring any extra hardware or Internet connection. The MobileFusion app allows instant 3D scans to be created using any smartphone, and may soon be as quick and easy as texting or making a phone call.

The scans are high-quality enough to be used for things such as 3D printing and augmented reality video games, according to a report from Tech Times.

"What this system effectively allows us to do is to take something similar to a picture, but it's a full 3D object," said Peter Ondruska, a PhD candidate at Oxford University who worked on the project while he was an intern at Microsoft Research.

"Everything happens on the phone itself," added Pushmeet Kohli, a principal research scientist with Microsoft Research, who also worked on the project.

Shahram Izadi, a Microsoft Research principal researcher, said he imagines people using a tool like this to take a 3D scan of something they see on vacation, such as the Eiffel Tower, and immediately sharing it with friends or family.

According to the researchers, most mobile devices have become powerful enough that they could build a 3D-scanning system just using the computational power found on a regular mobile phone.

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