There are several 3D scanning solutions for mobile devices, but Mantis Vision’s MV4D technology may take things a bit farther.
Their concept goes beyond “mere” static 3D scanning and moves into “4D”, that is, the dimension of time. The technology seems capable of developing videos in 3D. Their technology is based on the well-understood structured light approach, in which a known pattern is repeatedly flashed on a subject. Deviances from the standard pattern as it lands on the subject are used to gradually build up a 3D representation of the subject.
One key difference with MV4D is the use of infrared light, which is invisible to humans. We’ve seen other structured light sensors and you wouldn’t want to be nearby if you were epileptic, as the high-frequency visible flashes can be very distracting.
While the company hopes to market their technology to a variety of industries for different purposes, it seems a key market could be consumers who wish to produce 3D content. This use is not particularly interesting to the 3D printing market, but we suspect Mantis Vision’s technology will assist 3D printing through new forms of 3D scanners.
In fact, Mantis Vision is developing a series of handheld 3D imagers that could change the scanning business significantly, particularly if they set the price low enough. They say their “F5 Series” of scanners are faster, more accurate, rugged and easy to use. The product will also include software that can process the captures.
We’re looking forward to seeing the results of this venture, which could be successful, based on their most recent funding round of USD$12.5M.