3D Mobile Scanning: The Future Awaits

I had an idea, based on some hybrid in my brain of the knowledge from this Emerging Media Platforms class and the love I developed for data journalism and infographics in a previous course, that 3D, interactive scene recreations could find a place in journalism, even breaking-news journalism. So, I bought myself a 3D scanner that attaches to my iPhone 6, downloaded the free app that runs the scanner, and started scanning areas in my house.

What I found out was that the speed and ease-of-use of these mobile scanners will make them an ideal solution for journalists in a time crunch when, and ONLY when, the technology is improved so that every scene doesn’t have a fuzzy, post-apocalyptic air to it or is missing chunks of key objects. As they are, mobile scanners can’t capture any movement, objects in direct sunlight, or anything larger than a small room (a bathroom, in fact). But because this is an emerging technology that is being developed and improved as we speak, I know it won’t be long before these scanners have the capabilities of more expensive 3D scanners and can be used by journalists and consumers alike, with nothing more than a smartphone or tablet.

For a full report on my field test for 3D mobile scanning in breaking news journalism, see my attached paper.

Thanks, and I’ll see you in the future!

The Bathroom – my most successful scanned model
The Desk – not so successful, but still recognizable.
The iSense scanner – my tool of choice.



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