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When Phones Turn Into 3D Scanners!

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3d scanning using smartphone

Everyone got hooked on to 3D printing, but its now time to take a step further with 3D scanning through your phone! Latch onto this article to know more. Brilliant and life defining, Microsoft’s research half has recently peeked out at the world and given us the latest on its new project. This is the concept of 3D-scanning using a regular mobile phone.

This team went on to further elaborate (through a blog post and a video) that the project will allow anybody to create high-quality 3D images in real time. To add to this brilliance it seems that Microsoft has basically figured out a way to convert the average smart phones rear end camera into a 3D scanner.

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


Enticing and highly awaited it claims that no additional hardware is required for the deed. What does this mean? It means that feeling like a tech wizard is only a few clicks away. For instance it will enable users to pick up their phones and point their rear cameras in the direction of an object. Once they move around it, the application will provide users with a scan of the said object.

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

Shahram Izadi is a principal researcher that has also played a role in the project. He says that he imagines people using a tool like this to take a 3D scan of something they see on vacation, such as the Eiffel Tower etc and they can then immediately share it with friends or family making the entire experience a wholesome one.

Another fair point he made was that a person can also use it to take a 3D scan of something they wished to sell online, such as a vase or a lamp, etc. Once decided they can post a 3D scan instead of the usual picture making buyers so much more happy. “This is really about the accessibility and ubiquity of 3D scanning,” Izadi said.

At the moment, the researchers are working on making sure the system is compatible with all types of mobile devices, including Windows Phone, Android and iPhone devices. Izadi said they hope to make it available to general public soon.