It might look a little clumsy and uses a VGA camera, and yes you will look like a tourist from a developing country walking around with this, but the Lynx A is the world’s first 3D modeling camera. The Kickstarter project already has more than 150 backers with a collective pledge amount of over US$62 000.
Shaped like a tablet, and a big one at that, the camera consists of a 3D sensor and a VGA camera that produces 3D models of whatever you point it at. A user can choose from three types of “photography”, or rather modelling: scene modeling, object modeling, and motion capture.
Scene Modeling lets you scan larger areas that then get modeled right on the front screen of the tablet. Object Modeling is more centered on one specific object that lets you create a “watertight 3D model of the object.” Motion Capture enables a user to capture videos that are like “motion volume in front of your camera”. The display is a 14-inch colour LCD screen that will display the 3D results, and just like you would on a game controller, there are joysticks for navigating around the 3D model created on the screen. The 3D data can be directly exported to a 3D printer.
While the slightly less than spectacular camera is not something to write home about, the possibilities of this are endless, if it kicks off the camera will most probably be improved. The applications are limitless. Game developers will have a handheld tool that can be used to track and incorporate human movement in game characters or avatars at a fraction of the cost it is to do today.
While it is still just a Kickstarter project with spotty youngsters and a VGA camera built into what looks like a flat screen TV, the project is backed by some influential people, including Dr. Sriram Vishwanath, an Associate Professor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering department at the University of Texas.