Clip On 3D Scanner Could Make Your iPad Camera Useful

Strap this to your iPad, and generate 3D models of the world around you

structure sensor
structure sensor

Your tablet camera isn't very good. In all honesty, most of the time you shouldn't use the thing — and especially not at any sort of big event. But a new Kickstarter could actually give you a reason to bust out your iPad at any and all occasions: it turns it into a 3D scanner. The Structure Sensor Kickstarter straps to your iPad, and uses dual infrared LEDs to generate 3D information about whatever it sees.

While the Structure Scanner has a mount designed for an iPad, its Lightning cable connection will work with any iOS device with a Lightning port, and with Android devices using a suitable adapter. It's also aimed squarely at developers at this point, with SDKs for all levels of interacting with the data it generates.

The big question here is about accuracy. In one discussion, precision of 1% of distance is cited. Which, with a range of 40cm to 3.5m, means the scans will be accurate from 0.4cm to 3.5cm. Probably not enough detail for 3D printing or high-resolution work, but certainly enough to interact with your environment.

The Structure Sensor has already more than tripled its funding goal, but if you want to get on board, you'll need to drop at least $329 to get one.