3-D scanning, with your smartphone
Traditionally, 3-D scanning has required expensive laser scanner equipment, complicated software, and technological expertise. But MIT spinout Viztu Technologies helped change that: Back in 2011, Viztu released software, free online, that essentially replaced expensive scanning hardware with personal cameras. This innovation led to a rapidly rising commercial enterprise that concluded with Viztu’s sale to a tech giant, which is now bringing the technology to the public worldwide. Viztu’s flagship web service, Hypr3D, could rapidly generate digital 3-D models of an object (human or inanimate) or scene from a series of user-uploaded 2-D digital photos or videos, usually captured by digital cameras, smartphones, or webcams. “We gave people the easiest scanner available: the cameras they already owned,” says Thomas Milnes PhD ’13, Viztu’s chief technology officer, who developed the software behind Hypr3D as part of his MIT dissertation. A simple pipeline All this was automated for the user.
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