Friday, August 28, 2015

MobileFusion turns your smartphone into a 3D scanner

Microsoft has lots of amazing research projects in image processing (Photosynth, Hyperlapse, etc), and now there's one more that catches our attention: one that allows you to turn a regular smartphone camera into something similar to a 3D tracking Kinect.

This MobileFusion is not the first app that allows us to capture a scene in 3D by simply moving around the subject using our smartphone; but it's most likely the one that can do it with the best quality and accuracy, creating a 3D point-cloud that seems to have been captured with a real 3D camera or more complex capture systems, with lasers and so on.

Though we have to keep in mind this can't actually compete with real 3D cameras, like the Kinect or Project Tango, it might be more than enough for the 3D scanning of objects when there's no other device around. Like it's usually said in photography: "the best camera is the one you have with you when you need to use it".

The only problem is that, for now, the MobileFusion app is not publicly available, though the researchers hope to do so in the future. We'll be waiting.

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