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.
Alongside the slew of 90-inch TVs, Sharp also used this year’s IFA to show off something a little less glamorous. Its IGZO technology (that’s indium gallium zinc oxide, kids) was developed in conjunction with the Semiconductor Energy Laboratory. According to Sharp, the displays “have a significantly higher translucency [compared to traditional LCD TFT displays]. This improvement means that smaller or fewer LEDs are needed for the backlighting.” The result is less power consumption for high-res displays and higher sensitivity on touchscreens, with far less noise to contend with.
The company plans to create three panel sizes to start: 10-inch (2560 x 1600), seven-inch (1280 x 800) and 32-inch (3840 x 2160). Sharp was also demoing a prototype seven-inch tablet (which you can see in the gallery below) alongside the displays. The representative we spoke with wouldn’t reveal anything about specific products the company plans to produce using the technology, but did tell us that we can expect to see some IGZO products in 2013. Check out an explanatory video after the break.
Gallery: Sharp IGZO hands-on
Skybox Imaging just closed a massive $ 70M Series C round led by Canaan Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund got in on the action as well. The new investors join Khosla Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners and brings Skybox Imaging’s total amount raised to $ 91 million.
The latest round of financing will allow Skybox to launch its first two high-resolution imaging microsatellites, dubbed SkyStat-1 and SkyStat-2. Eventually other microsatellites will join these two as Skybox surrounds the Earth with imaging satellites. It’s the company’s goal to provide high-resolution imagery of any spot on earth multiple times per day.
The additional funds will also help Skybox hire new talent. The company is currently looking to hire engineers, operation managers and satellite technicians.
“We will also use this capital to expand strategic alliances, position Skybox for initial commercial operations, and to accelerate the development path towards the full constellation of microsatellites,” said Skybox CEO Tom Ingersoll in a statement released to TechCrunch.
The first two satellites are set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2012 aboard an International Space Company Kosmotras Dnepr rocket. Eventually Skybox Imaging claims its constellation of satellites will be able to provide much more up-to-date imagery including high-definition video. I for one welcome our new satellite overlords and look forward to the day that I can inspect the grass in my front yard with a livestream from space.
Well, a week (or two) is a long time in the technology industry, and despite that joint venture with Sony heading south, it’s not all bad news for Sharp. According to a press release from the panel maker, it has begun production of the world’s first screens based on IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology. These screens are said to promise twice the detail as existing panels of similar transparency, which also translates into a hefty 90 percent reduction in power consumption, reports PC World. Sharp did kindly share some sample specifications, such as a 7-inch tablet display touting a 1280 x 800 resolution equaling 217 ppi, and a 32-inch 3840 x 2160 screen at 140 ppi, to give you an idea of what we can expect. There’s no indication yet as to any devices where we might see them showing up, but as the firm claims it’s ramping up production “to meet market demand” we guess we’ll find out soon enough…
Continue reading Sharp rolls out high-res IGZO LCDs destined for tablets, laptops and monitors
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Apple developers test-driving the latest Mountain Lion (10.8) release may have noticed some higher-res graphics erroneously popping up in “unexpected places,” such as the double-size phone icon that appears alongside an audio chat invitation in Messages. One such dev reported his findings to Ars Technica, as you can see evidenced in the graphic above. This mild slip-up could imply that Apple plans to release Macs with high-density displays later this year, or, at the very least, that Mountain Lion will be Retina-ready. High-res support dates back to OS X Lion, which is reportedly equipped to play nice with HiDPI displays, should they eventually become available. Compatible icons are but a second piece of the puzzle, which could be completed to the tune of deliciously dense 2880 x 1800 (or higher) resolution 15-inch LCDs. Wouldn’t you love to see that.
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A team of researchers at the Photonic Network Research Institute of Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has developed a new light source technology that might pave the way to some pretty spectacular applications in the future.
The core piece of the technology are “high-quality” quantum dots, tiny nano particles, that boast higher stability and optical frequency than those created the conventional way.
By using the so-called “Sandwiched sub-nano separator structure”, NICT says their quantum dots can be utilized in optical frequency bands that are about 70 Thz wide, which is about seven times wider than the 10Thz of conventional frequency bands currently offer.
NICT also says that because this new wavelength band can permeate human skin, their technology could also be used in bio-imaging, for example to shoot high-resolution photos of new molecules in cells.
NICT explains their light source technology:
Usually when you fabricate quantum dots, you grow crystalline quantum dot particles, in nanometer size, on the semiconductor surface. But this time, we’ve formed a very thin layer, less than one nanometer thick, between the surface and the dots. By adding just this nanometer layer, we’ve be able to form high-quality quantum dots, without aggregation structures, at very high density.
This video, shot by Diginfo TV in Tokyo, provides more insight (in English):
In the olden days, when you wanted a bust made, you hired some fancy sculptor to come to your house and sit with you for hours a day until, months later, you had a handsome marble or ceramic bust. Now, however, you can get a bust made in a few minutes using laser scanners and Makerbot rapid prototyping machines. Ain’t progress wonderful?
Makerbot’s Bre Pettis invited me over to his new storefront in Brooklyn to build a bust for his upcoming New York Notables event in July. I got to join folks like Cory Doctorow and Moot (in miniature form) as we were scanned into a PC using a Polhemus laser scanner. To grab my physical details they dusted me talcum powder and then sat me down for a good two minute scan. The process was quick and painless and the results, as you see in the video below, were impressive. We could have printed out my head in a few minutes but Bre and the gang were pretty backed up so they’re going to let me know when my tiny little head appears in their machine, ready for eventual deification by future generations.
It’s pretty obvious that this year’s SID Display Week is shaping up to be a stage for the 300ppi extravaganza — Samsung and LG were first to announce their latest high pixel density LCDs, and then Toshiba chimed in with its 367ppi LCD for cellphones. Fortunately, fans of ePaper will also have something to look forward to here, as E Ink Holdings and Epson have just announced the co-development of a 300ppi ePaper display. To be exact, E Ink will be in charge of producing the sharp-looking 9.68-inch 2,400 x 1,650 display panel, whereas Epson will take care of the high-speed display controller platform to go with E Ink’s part. No availability has been announced just yet, but stay tuned for our eyes-on impression at the show.
Continue reading E Ink and Epson to co-develop 9.7-inch high-res 300ppi electronic paper display
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Given, it might make you look like the love child of Robocop and a cartoon kitten, but SA Photonics’ High Resolution Night Vision System (HRNVS) could mean smoother night flights for the US military. The light weight head mounted display couples high resolution imagery and an impressive 82.5 degree field of vision — previous devices offered a range of only 40 degrees. What’s more, it provides clearer peripheral vision, virtually non-existent halo effects, digital image enhancement, and night vision recording. The headset was designed in collaboration with the US Army and the Air Force Research Laboratory, which means these robo Sanrio helmets might actually get some play. Full PR after the break.
Continue reading SA Photonics high-res digital night vision system makes you look like Hello Kitty’s cyborg cousin
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Most of the time when one product takes on another in a no-holds-barred face-off somebody walks away with a championship belt. Not this time. Here it’s Gunleik Groven, Norwegian filmmaker and photographer, comparing the RED One Mysterium X and the Arri Alexa, two pro-quality shooters that come in at a price semi-pro producers can afford — the RED clocking in at $ 42,485 the way Gunleik configured it, the Arri at $ 70,000. There are some obvious differences, like the RED shooting at 4K and the Arri at 1080p, but the vast majority of the comparisons here are far, far more subtle than that, meaning you’re just going to have to pore over the comparison on the other end of the source link yourself and download the gigabytes of sample footage that’s been thoughtfully provided. If you do need something of a conclusion, though, it’s this: “These are both excellent cameras we could only dream of 5 years back… you cannot really complain on the equipment if you don’t get your shot with either of these.”
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