Google’s Tango AR (augmented reality) platform for mobile devices allows a user’s smartphone or tablet to determine its position and orientation within the real-world environment, and this has been used for a multitude of different purposes, from immersive gaming to in-store navigation. After receiving a demo unit of the ZenFone, one of the latest Tango-enabled devices, Scandy used its Scandy Pro app to add 3D scanning functionality to the new smartphone in less than six hours. With just this application and an external sensor, device users can now not only augment their reality, but create a detailed 3D image of it.
‘‘To be able to expand the functionality of an AR/VR device to be a 3D scanner in an evening was a great feeling’’, said Scandy cofounder Cole Wiley. He attributes this speed and efficiency to the implementation of Scandy’s new software development kit (SDK), the Scandy Core. ‘‘I wouldn’t have been able to get Scandy Pro up and running so quickly if it weren’t for the beautifully abstracted architecture we built Scandy Core around.”
As previously reported, Scandy’s first 3D scanning app was built for the iPad and Structure Sensor. While building the app, the team were able to recognize the benefits that would come with a new SDK that allowed regular software developers to get started as quickly as possible, without the need for any expert 3D knowledge. With Scandy Core, Scandy has now made this vision into a reality, and the potential for these developers is huge.
A unique feature of this new SDK is that, due to the processing power of newer mobile devices, users will now have the ability to resolve 3D meshes on the device itself, without the need to connect to the Cloud. This will make it much easier for the files that it generates to be imported into CAD, games or AR/VR "movies." Another benefit is the ability to develop simultaneously for Android, iOS, or Linux, (Windows compatibility is also planned for the near future), so developers’ work will be available a lot faster to as broad a market as possible.
Scandy Pro was tested for over six months on Android devices using pmdtechnologies’ pmd Pico flexx time-of-flight 3D sensor, and this is the setup it has been designed to be run on. Usefully, the apps that are developed with Scandy Core will be able to handle different 3D depth streams universally, whether they come from external sensors such as the pmd Pico flex or embedded sensors in the Tango devices themselves.
Users and developers looking to get on board with these exciting new developments won’t have long to wait, as Scandy Pro and Scandy Core are going on sale in early 2017. They will also come bundled with the pmd Pico flexx 3D sensor.