3D Scanning, a Webcam's Latest Trick

We've seen cameras do all kinds of crazy things. DIY 3D photography, augmented reality, and now this demo by Qi Pan shows how an ordinary webcam can model objects in 3D.


I'm in no position to discuss the amount of technical wizardry in play here, but I do think the interface is really great. Look at how it overlays scanned textures on the person's hand to create a transparency effect. Neato!

It's definitely a whiz-bang application, but like augmented reality, I'm not sure how much I need it. Someone needs to figure out how to scan and print a sandwich. Now that would be something. [Pro Forma via Boing Boing]


From a military or emergency response standpoint, imagine having an inexpensive (almost disposable) UAV that could fly around/through a structure and generate a 3d map. It could just relay the images back to a laptop or similar device which would collect the data and do the necessary number crunching.