April 17th, 2012
Several readers have recently point out a new device from Matterport.com that is apparently in beta that will allow you to scan a room and make a 3D model of it by just walking through the room and scanning it. Matterport introduced their new device at Y Combinator which is a startup funding event. Matterport claims to be able to scan an object 20 times faster and 18 times cheaper than the competition.
gizmag.com reports that: “Matterport turns reality into 3D models and the scanner is 20 times faster and 18 times cheaper than any other tool on the market,” Matterport co-founder Michael Beebe claimed at the Y Combinator 2012 demo day at the end of March. And though that claim might be pushing it slightly - 3D scanners have been around for the better part of two decades – the technology demonstrated in Matterport’s demo video is remarkable. The handheld scanner, which at first glance might be mistaken for a Kinect sensor, is simple waved at the object or interior environment to be scanned in such a way as takes in the object’s entire surface. The technology is not only speedy, but also easy, apparently requiring no precision in use.”
On the question of price Mashable reports that: “While Matterport hasn’t set a price for the product, it will begin distributing to beta testers next month . Matt Bell (Matterport’s founder) says it won’t be prohibitive to consumer 3D enthusiasts.”
A device currently available that will do the same thing (Leica Geosystems) prices start at $50,000. While the most obvious demand for this kind of device is the gaming industry, one source (I can’t remember which) that I ran across while researching this, claimed that someone in the real estate industry is involved in the upcoming beta test.
This sounds encouraging, but of course the devil will be in the details and the pricing.