Capturing 3D models is one of the latest technology trends. The recent announcement of Google's Project Tango smartphone got tech heads excited and at the same time horrified users with concerns about privacy. Matterport is a startup that cooperated with Google in Project Tango and built its own 3D camera. The $4,500 device is linked with an iPad running the Matterport app and captures the interior of a room or any other scene.
Matterport does not reveal much information about the camera's specification but on the company website the system is described as follows:
The Matterport 3D System uses a patented camera, controlled through the user’s Apple iPad, to capture 3D and 2D images of an interior space. The camera rotates on a tripod that the user places around a room to capture every aspect of the space. Matterport’s proprietary technology then stitches together the data to create one complete 3D mesh with images overlaid onto all surfaces. These models are then ready for users to walk through the interior, view as a doll-house, or see a floorplan through Matterport’s immersive online interface. The models also include complete linear and area measurement data. The resulting model can be viewed, modified, annotated, and shared using any computer or the Apple iPad.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Matterport CEO Bill Brown explains that the system will be most useful for documenting spaces such as construction sites or in the promotion of a spaces for real estate or entertainment venues. It could also be used to demonstrate modifications to a space - for example changing the flooring or putting in new furniture. Brown also says that the current camera is only a first step and the Matterport system could soon fit into a smartphone, making 3D capture accessible to larger groups of consumers.
During a visit to the TechCrunch offices a Matterport representative demonstrated the system and the results are pretty impressive, see for yourself in the video below. You can also see the making-of video on TechCrunch.