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Google Rumored To Be Making 3D-Scanning Tablets 55

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google may be planning to commoditze 3-D scanning by building the tech of its Project Tango project (essentially, thus far, a phone-sized handheld with 3-D sensing capabilities) into tablets. The Register speculates: "Given that Google has already announced the Project Tango smartphone, it seems likely that it would extend the technology to tablets, and the seven-inch form factor would tie in nicely with the existing Nexus 7 design. ...Google is hoping that developers can build applications to use the scanning capabilities of the Tango hardware. Suggested topics include providing guides for visually impaired people, building gaming maps based on actual rooms, and possibly augmenting Google Maps with interior details – Street View becoming Home View perhaps?" Setting aside what brand it might bear, how would you employ a portable 3-D scanner?
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Google Rumored To Be Making 3D-Scanning Tablets

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  • Archaeological sites (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @08:54AM (#47082593)

    ... for one example. for others:
    Broken parts.
    Design with the parts on hand.
    Historical buildings and sites.
    3d printer corrections.

  • Besides 3d printing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rei ( 128717 ) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:35AM (#47082681) Homepage

    Setting aside what brand it might bear, how would you employ a portable 3-D scanner?

    You mean besides the fact that this would be THE enabling technology to finally make 3d printing a realistic option for average home users?

    If it works well enough (for example, would let you stitch together shots from different angles, so you're not just modeling the fronts of objects), think of what that would mean. Take your 3d image of, say, a broken part. Possibly apply a filter or two to it, like "Rust remover" or "Glue pieces together". Click "Share" like with photos on android, and you're given a list of everything that can take a 3d model. One example could be an email to yourself so you can print at home. Or, for most people, an app for companies like iMaterialize, or perhaps a new service owned by Google. Pick your material (metals, plastics, ceramics, rubber, etc) and other print options, possibly pay for a rush order if you need it fast... and you're charged as if buying a song, it's dispatched, printed, and comes right to your house in the mail.

    Another "Share" option could be a 3d model gallery (a "3d Flickr" or whatnot), with the default license set to public domain so anyone else can download. Suddenly there's a huge influx of searchable, free 3d models of almost anything you can imagine online. People could also restrict their models or charge for high-res versions of their models. Such a service could have convenient button to send an online model to a 3d printing service. Smart 3d printing services would keep track of how often given models are being downloaded and automatically launch the set up various degrees of mass production for the most commonly printed ones, lowering their prices. Anyone who expects high volume on a part could prepay for mass production setup. Basically, the difference between conventional mass-manufacture and custom user-created manufacture could practically disappear.

    The possibilities are endless. Widespread 3d model creation plus easy sharing = widespread 3d printing. It could be a game changer if done right.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:41AM (#47082699)

    A realistic option for what? 3D printers are mostly hot glue guns on a wobbly frame that "print" using one thick strand of one material. Could we please stop humping the corpse of 3D printing hype? It's over, it failed to deliver.

    As for 3D scanning, it's called taking two pictures. If that's "THE" enabling technology, you've got problems.

    You're so naive. You're assuming it's just a visible part that's easy to print that's broken, and that people will have the skill, patience, time and tools to do something with it.

    What if it's your pedestal fan in summer and it just stops working for no visible cause? Then what? It's the electronics inside that's broken. How will any of this help?

    Your "realistic" scenarios are so far-fetched and unlikely it's absurd.

    The possibilities have ended, is what you mean.

  • by djscoumoune ( 1731422 ) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @10:18AM (#47082803)
    Google's project looks very very low quality. There are already projects, like using the lidar from a vaccum cleaner neato xv-11 or from distance mesuring lasers [] There's another cool project that looks very promising for 3d scanning. It uses odometry and scans from 2 webcams. [] It's still early but you can download it in the video link

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead