Handheld 3D scanner lets you digitize the real world

It seems like almost every gadget imagined on Star Trek is slowly becoming a reality, from the communicator, to the tricorder, to the holodeck. And now there's a project that appears to be inspired by one of the more obscure gadgets to appear on Star Trek, the holographic-imager, or holo-cam.

On the show, the fictional device allowed users to capture a three-dimensional image of a subject that could later be viewed as a hologram. The Fuel3D is a real handheld 3D scanner that operates much like a camera and allows the user to create a 3D model of a subject in seconds. However, the difference here between fiction and reality is that after the image is captured by the Fuel3D, it can then be output into a model via a 3D printer.

The early prototype design shown in the company's video is indeed handheld, but it is a bit bulky and would be difficult to use as a point and shoot solution over an extended time. But the next-generation model the company has in the works (pictured above) is not only more portable, but actually looks like something you might have seen one of the crew on the Enterprise using to shoot their vacation on the planet Risa. 

Aside from the technology, one of the most amazing features of the device is its price: just $990 for early adopters. The device is expected to be ready to ship in July 2014, but you can get an early look at what it's capable of in the video below. 

Via Kickstarter

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