Microsoft Research just announced that it is working on new technology that allows people to scan faces in 3D using only a Windows Phone camera. The technology would allow people to print out a high quality image of their face using a 3D printer.
The process of capturing the appearance of real objects is called 3D reconstruction, and Microsoft is making the process as simple as taking a panoramic picture. The new technology is set to be called the Skynet UI, thereby making us form theories as to how Microsoft will usher in the rebellion of cybernetic terminators.
“The Skynet UI design aims to enhance user experience to lower the barriers between common consumers and 3D reconstruction,” said the developers in a blog post.
To recreate someone’s mug in 3D, you simply need to a 360 degree photo of their face. While moving side to side as if doing the shuffle, the Skynet UI gives you cues on how to move. The process is very similar to using the panoramic photograph function is most smartphones, and is described as simply “tap start, tap end interaction.” The technology is not limited to 3D-printed selfies. It can also scan reference objects such as cylinders and even the space over it.
So far, the developers see applications in furniture arrangement, e-commerce visualization, and object recognition. However, new uses would definitely come out of the woodwork once this is released into the wild. If you want to see the Skynet UI in action, you can watch the demo video below.