I first saw Newtown-based Eora 3D at a maker faire a couple of years ago, now after a successful Kickstarter campaign they have announced: “The world’s only high-precision 3D Scanner that is entirely powered by modern smartphone is now available in retail.”
The idea is pretty simple in concept. There is a stand holding your smartphone and a bluetooth-aligned turntable on which you put the object to be captured. Captures are done automatically and stitched together to form a 3D model. There are pictures of this in action on the Eora 3D website.
When you get beyond the concept these guys have produced a lovely bit of industrial engineering, the kit is beautiful, that seems to do a fine job of bringing the real world back into the digital. Their timing is excellent with the current focus on augmented and virtual reality.
With a retail price of around $600 for the scanner and turntable it’s not a cheap solution, especially compared to smartphone-alone apps that allow a similar stitching process from hand-held photos. But if you need accuracy in your scans this could well be worth the money. Right now it only works with iOS.
I haven’t tried using one but the advertised results look excellent – as long as you’re realistic in your expectations. Even in the advertised pictures you can see gaps in the mesh where the scanner did not reach and which would require more work to make good. But nothing is going to deal magically with the funny angles presented by an object in the real world.
It is great to see an Australian company with an innovative solution in this space.
For all the details and to order see the Eora 3D website.