Geo Week News

January 4, 2017

3D-scanning app for Google Tango a sign of things to come [video]

A Voxxlr scan

The Voxxlr Scanning app is designed to use the sensors in a Google Tango device to 3D scan an environment.

It’s certainly not the first scanning app for Tango, but it might one of the most customer friendly. Voxxlr, which looks to be free, builds a 3D point cloud on screen as you move your sensors through a space. It is also built on Google’s cloud services, which means users can process a point cloud in the app and upload their scans to an interactive viewer. Users who already have point clouds they’d like to share–say from a Sensefly drone–can upload those as well.

Voxxlr wouldn’t be app you’d use for sensitive scanning projects, but it might be just the sort of service the general public needs to get into 3D scanning.

When I spoke to Matterport’s CEO Bill Brown in November, he said that the wider adoption of 3D scanning would mirror the adoption of photography. Once cameras were available in smartphones, he said, the medium of photography took off. Apps like Instagram that enabled easier sharing of photographs added fuel to the fire.

Now we’re starting to see user-friendly 3D scanning apps, and platforms for easy sharing of point cloud, on our smartphones. Does this mean 3D scanning is about to take off?

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