High-quality 3D facial scanners have prices that tend to match the number of details the final scan has — but one California startup is aiming to bring scanners detailed down to individual pores and wrinkles without the high price tag. Bellus3D is a smartphone attachment that creates high- resolution 3D facial scans using 500,000 different reference points.
Announced at CES 2017 and expected to be available to third-party developers sometime in the first quarter of 2017, the 3D scanner uses two 1.2-megapixel infrared sensors and a 1.2-megapixel color sensor to capture 3D scans. The Android-based accessory can also be used in conjunction with the smartphone’s built-in front-facing camera in order to get that pore-level detail.
Two infrared light projectors send out a laser-like beam to scan the face as the subject moves slowly from side to side. A ring light helps ensure even lighting throughout the scan or can be removed from the scanner. Bellus3D says the device works best from about one to two feet away but will work as far as three feet away.
Bellus3D just has the hardware — they are looking for partners or developers to give the tech a few real-world uses. The company suggests the scanner could be used to virtually try on makeup, customize avatars in virtual reality games, try on glasses (or a wig), see potential cosmetic surgeries or even print your own selfie with a 3D printer.
Based in Silicon Valley, Bellus3D was founded last March. CEO Eric Chen was a co-inventor on Apple’s Quicktime VR. The startup’s staff includes engineers and developers with past experience ranging from Google to Amazon. While the hardware will be introduced to partners and developers within the next few months, there is no word yet when the scanner would be coming to the market — or how much it will cost.