It's finally happening: the development of a mobile 3D scanning device for the iPad is in the works. Coined the "Structure Sensor," the Kickstarted device allows a user to capture 3D renders of a room, objects and people, turning the scans into importable CAD files and 3D printing plans.
Using dual infrared LED light projectors that have a range of 40 centimeters to 3.5 meters, the Structure Sensor can easily take 3D scans of anything from your Furby to your newly renovated man cave, in the light or in complete darkness with equal accuracy. The device also allows you to play light-projected games in the real world, all controlled through your iPad.
The slim and compact anodized aluminum device snaps onto the back of a standard fourth-gen iPad (other iPad model compatibilities to be released later) camera via a plastic vertical bracket that slips over the iPad lens. The sensor is protected by chemically hardened glass and the device has a battery life of four hours of active use, and 1,000+ hours of standby.
Each SDK is outfitted with object scanner, room capture, fetch and ball physics software applications to allow full control over its scanning and gaming abilities. 3D printing models can be uploaded directly to Shapeways.com from the software. The room capture feature requires you to actually spin around the whole room, so a little ballerina skill is helpful. Finally, the two in-world games, Fetch and Ball Physics, give you a virtual pet to play fetch with and virtual balls to use in a real-time space.
The Structure Sensor Kickstarter project began today and already has $61,938 pledged of its $100,000 goal. The original idea was first inspired by a Microsoft Kinect back in November 2011 and grew into a project manned by Occipital, a 13-person startup company that is based in Colorado and California. Let's just hope the Structure Sensor will work better than the Kinect ever did.
(All images courtesy of Occipital.)