You Can Now Use Your Cellphone As A 3D Modeling Tool


Researchers have created a new technology that uses the camera and accelerometers in an average cellphone to measure real objects in 3D space. Created at Carnegie Mellon University, you can use the system to build “3D models of the world” just by waving your phone around an object or scene.

The accelerometers, called inertial measurement units, roughly tell the phone’s software the position of the phone in space. IMU’s are very noisy and rarely usable to truly assess a phone’s actual orientation with any degree of real accuracy but coupled with the camera you can get far more useful results.

“We’ve been able to get accuracies with cheap sensors that we hadn’t imagined,” said Simon Lucey, associate research professor in the CMU Robotics Institute in a release. “With a face tracker program, we are able to measure the distance between a person’s pupils within half a millimeter.” Such measurements would…

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