A very clever realtime 3d scanning using kinect

SIGRAPH 2011 always brings out some very interesting tech. I always think of it as being mainly high end very expensive leading edge graphics. This year though some researcher have provided something very cool and useful that side steps the expensive LIDAR scanning process to capture full 3d environments using just a (now) humble Kinect.

Point cloud data is often used to capture environments that already exist and then it is generally turned into a polygon mesh to be manipulated and re-rendered. Second Life is famously moving from its prim based display to start to allow these polygon meshes as that has been the traditional way yo show games graphics. However this is could all be up in the air a little with the guys at Euclideon who have this newer approach to rendering. Rather than polygons they use an atomic approach. it is really a 3d pixel or voxel.

So look out for Euclideon and their technology, it is an exciting time to see new and interesting ways for us to both create, interact and modify environments.
Both advances have implications for merging real and virtual spaces in either direction as part of augmented reality.

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