Microsoft Research lab’s latest product is an app that turns your ordinary smartphone camera into a 3D scanner. Dubbed as MobileFusion, the app allows users to scan an object with a smartphone moving around it.
The creation of the 3D model can be seen in the app in real-time and once ready they can be used for 3D printing or augmented reality games. Microsoft says that no additional hardware or even an internet conneciton is required to turn the smartphones into a 3D scanner using the app. The MobileFusion system densely tracks the device in 3D by comparing the live camera data with the previous frames. The technology works by taking several pictures of a subject and combining them into a single 3D object.
“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 Ph.D. candidate at Oxford University. The researchers are currently trying to get it running on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. MobileFusion will be shown off at the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality in early October.