Microsoft wants the camera on the back of your phone to do more than take 2D photos. A new project from Microsoft’s research lab is turning the average smartphone’s rear camera into a 3D scanner — one that can automatically create 3D models that are supposed to be good enough for printing. In a demo video, researchers use an iPhone 5S to scan objects just by moving the phone around them. The phone tracks the object that’s being captured and then builds up a model as the camera captures it from different angles.
Most smartphones should be able to do this
Some of the models created in the demo video look rough, but they’re pretty impressive when you consider that the iPhone wasn’t designed to make them. Microsoft says that no additional hardware is needed to turn the iPhone — or other modern smartphones — into a 3D scanner; computation is all done on the phone, too.
Daniel Kaufman, Pres. & CEO, Reagan Wireless Corp.