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April 11, 2012

Matterport - The Amazingly Fast 3D Scanner




Y Combinator startup Matterport has invented a small scanner, that can scan any space or object and create a 3D model.
“We turn reality into 3D models and our scanner is 20 times faster and 18 times cheaper than any other tool on the market,” says Matterport co-founder Michael Beebe, “We are creating fundamentally new technology, like the steam engine or the car.”
Best of all, no precise set up is needed. With a wave of the hand, the device smartly scans the environment and understands the shapes, features, and placement of everything it scans.
Beebe showed off the technology at Y Combinator’s Demo Day. The team highlighted that its scanner is currently being used in the construction, film making, and real estate industries.  Architects and designers will salivate over the demo video below.
From the initial reports the software for the Kinect-like system looks very easy to use and has the added benefit of dimensioning.  Unlike a lot of other 3D scanners on the market, Matterport looks to be easy, inexpensive and precise.  
The scanner may also be very suitable for integration into robotics systems.  For instance, The Corpora has recently experimented with augmenting the Qbo robot with an Asus Xtion scanner, and Willow Garage has used a Kinect to similar effect with the PR2 robot.  
It is not known yet if the scanner is suitable for scanning people or smaller sized objects like the Scantech or NextEngine 3D scanner.



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