PhoneScope 3D Gives iPhone Users A High-Res 3D Scanner in Their Pocket

December 19, 2012

 The PhoneScope 3D from Spatial Vision and Design offers high-resolution magnified 3D scanning that can have applications for users ranging from forensics specialists to CGI animators. But its developers mostly just want people to have fun with the iPhone add-ons. After years in development, PhoneScope 3D is now raising funds on Kickstarter.

 The PhoneScope 3D differentiates itself from other iPhone 3D scanning apps and attachments with a macro lens that magnifies the iPhone’s camera view by up to five times. A light lens attachment clips onto the lens and uses ultra-bright LEDs diffused through glass developed by Spatial Vision and Design to distribute light evenly and reduce coning.



The lens clip, designed to have a low profile and fit over an iPhone bumper, is made from plasma-polished stainless steel, while the light lens attachment is built from aircraft-grade anodized aluminum. The light lens is placed directly over the object being scanned, which means that although there are size limitations, the subject can be rendered in greater detail. The PhoneScope 3D is meant to be used with specially designed desktop software and scans can be turned into 3D prints.


Developer B.J. Rao says his aim with the PhoneScope 3D is to build awareness of 3D scanning. Potential users include “a dermatologist or forensics specialist who now has greater means to examine, review and store visual information,” said Rao. With its affordability and ease of use, the set is also a fun introduction to high-resolution 3D scanning.


Spatial Vision & Design, a startup with locations in St. Louis, Amsterdam, and Seoul, develops mobile software and hardware focusing on vision technologies. B.J. Rao said that he and partners Vijay Rao and Lazlo Kleczewski have wanted to create an app and hardware combination for the iPhone since it was first released by Apple, but the project was put on hold several times over the years because of lack of funding. The trio’s prior hardware experience includes developing and calibrating photolithography machines. B.J. Rao has worked with institutions such as the Museum Gouda in Amsterdam, where he helped develop a 3D scanning technology for an exhibit that allowed visitors to interact with fragile artifacts without handling them.


PhoneScope 3D software is currently available for Windows only, but Rao says their target for OSX support is April or May 2013.

Pre-orders begin at $39 for the early bird special, which comes with a lens clip. The team’s goal is to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter before January 8, with a target delivery date of March 2013 for the lens clips and April 2013 for the sets with the lens clip and light lens attachment.

source: by Catherine Shu

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