At CES today, 3D Systems introduced an iPad-version of its popular Sense 3D scanner called the iSense. The device clips to the iPad and allows users to scan an object in three-dimensions in real-time, without needing to put the object inside a special scanning box.
The iSense is ideal for physical photography, empowering users to easily capture moments in every dimension. Created for 3DS by Occipital and powered by Structure Sensor technology, iSense can be used on anything and you don't have to stand still or place an object into a box as required with other 3D scanners. Users simply attach the iSense to an iPad, and they can literally walk around and scan entire objects or environments obtaining a photorealistic copy of the real thing. iSense is powered by the same software as 3DS' popular Sense scanner.
After scanning an object, users can then transfer the data for editing or duplication via compatible 3D printers. Engadget did an in-depth review of the Sense scanner, the predecessor to the iSense, back in November and found the device to be promising but very much a first-generation product. The site said there is "real potential" for 3D modelers, game developers and the like, but the devices remain very expensive for what they do.
The above video is from the original Sense 3D scanner, not the new iSense. The iSense will be available for $499 in the second quarter of 2014.
Last year, Apple purchased 3D-scanning company PrimeSense, and that company's Capri sensor enables mobile devices to "see the world in 3D", a very similar technology to that used in the iSense, though without as much of a focus on 3D printing.