Structure Sensor adds a 3D camera to your iPad

first_imgKinect may be remembered as one of the most forward-thinking but underutilized technologies in Microsoft’s long history. Though it failed to truly capture the core audience as a gaming controller for the Xbox 360, it has sold millions of units and its sensor has been put to all kinds of alternate uses. Microsoft is doubling down on depth cameras with the Xbox One, including an upgraded Kinect with every console sold — and it’s not the only one that sees a future for the technology.The Kinect camera has worked its way into robotics labs and living spaces, always based on the idea that a camera capable of capturing 3D data can be put to better, more varied uses than tracking a user’s arms and legs. Now a company named Occipital is throwing its hat into the ring with a new Kickstarter campaign, citing Kinect as a direct inspiration. They saw the incredible potential of the sensor, and knew it could do so much more.The Structure Sensor is an all-purpose depth camera designed to work with most any mobile device, though it is heavily geared toward the iPad. With a focus on openness and easy development, it hopes its customers will find all manner of unforeseen uses for it. Occipital wants users to quickly measure a whole room, spin in place and allow packed-in software to build a full 3D model in real time. They want users to scan complete objects to send to their friends, or print out directly.The only officially supported device for the camera is the iPad 4 at present, but they claim that if you scrounge up your own plug adapter and design and 3D print your own holding bracket, you can use it on an Android device as well. There’s certainly no doubt that the Structure Sensor is aimed at the Do It Yourself crowd, at least at this early stage.The new Kinect shipping with the Xbox One is said to be one of the package’s most expensive components, so it’s unsurprising that Occipital’s riff on the concept is pricy as well. The cheapest version is currently $330, discounted from $350. If you’re thinking about donating just to see the project through to fruition, though, don’t bother — as of this writing, the project has more than triple its funding goal with over a month left on the timer.last_img