Microsoft Wants to Turn Camera Phones into 3D Scanners

One of Microsoft’s most recent projects involves transforming the cameras installed on the backs of our smartphones into actual 3D scanners. The end goal is to be able to scan pretty much any object in order to create a 3D model that could be used for 3D printing or augmented reality gaming. Dubbed MobileFusion, the project is currently being designed to work on the three major mobile operating systems, namely Android, iOS and Windows Phone. The endeavor appears to be promising, at least judging by a demo video that was released by Microsoft not too long ago.

In the video, researchers use an iPhone 5S to scan objects and people by moving the phone around them. As the camera captures images from different angles, the phone does all the computing and builds up a model of the object. The first attempts appear a bit unpolished, but given the fact that the iPhone 5S was not designed to perform such tasks in the first place, Microsoft’s efforts are still commendable. What’s truly amazing about this technology is that it does not require any extra hardware, unlike Google’s Tango project that is based on a motion-tracking camera and a depth sensor.

No word on a release date for MobileFusion just yet, but it will become available to the general public eventually. Until then, have a look at the video below for a glimpse of what it can accomplish.

Thank you TheVerge for providing us with this information.