Sunday, May 11, 2014

Future Trends in 3D Modeling - Smartphones and Google

A Graphic of the phone with the Camera app open
Many major technology companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft have all gotten into the 3D scanning game.  

"Giving devices full 3D vision is the next step in the consumer electronics evolution. This began with Kinect for the Xbox, and, although this process is still in its early phase, that is where all the technology giants seem to be setting their sights. Apple bought PrimeSense, the company that makes Kinect, as well as 3D Systems' Sense consumer 3D scanner, " says 3DPI in an article titled "Google Wants to give Your smartphone 3D modeling Capabilities."

A Schematic of the Phone
It seemed as though Google stopped having interest in 3D modeling when it sold Sketchup to Trimble in 2012. However Google is now working on Project Tango - an Android smartphone that can 3D scan objects. You may be thinking that any smartphone can do that with 123D Catch however this would have an extra depth sensor camera in the back and therefore have to take many fewer shots for a higher quality image. 

Putting depth sensors on smartphone cameras is not new.  In 2011 HTC released the HTC Evo 3D.  It had one for capturing 3D video and now the HTC One (M8) has one for refocusing a shot after it is taken however Tango would be the first phone to have one made for 3D scanning.

Although we (the BPC Maker Club) have not had much luck getting decent quality out of our Kinect it supposedly can get some decent quality scans. The Kinect was not made for 3D scanning but for movement tracking in video games that don't need high accuracy and therefore this limitation is to be expected.

Apple has not actually released a 3D scanner it did buy PrimeSense, the company behind Microsoft's Kinect 3D motion sensor. This means that Apple will probably come out with some sort of 3D sensor in the future.

- Abe (7th grade)

No comments:

Post a Comment