Trimensional: 99 cent 3D Photo Scanner for the iPhone 4 – More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys

A friend of mine has a business that does 3D modeling, printing, and fabrication. So, when he tells me that some 3D product is interesting, I pay close attention. Yesterday, he told me about a new app for the iPhone 4 (and only the iPhone 4) that can create a 3D model using a photo taken using the iPhone 4’s front-facing camera. It uses the front facing camera because the iPhone 4’s retina display is used as a source of light. The segments of the display light up in a series of a blogs of white light that provides light on different areas of an object’s surface. This scanned image is turned into a 3D model. The easiest object to scan is your own face since you can see it in the iPhone 4’s display as the blobs of light shine on your face. However, I found it is possible to scan other objects with a bit of practice and a little finger, hand, wrist contortion exercise.

You can see one of my first tests of the 99 cent iPhone 4 app in the video embedded above.

Trimensional 1.0

I’ve had a long time fascination with 3D viewing for many years now. And, I’m planning to do a lot more in this area going forward since I believe that consumer 3D is about where smartphones were in 2002 or so. In other words, it is a few years from really taking off. Stay tuned to ThinkMobile. You can expect to start reading about and seeing some of my 3D work within a couple of weeks.