I have always believed that brining 3D to consumers could only work without the need for dedicated depth sensors. This pure-software approach is already being embraced for Augmented Reality with Apple’s upcoming ARKit and Google’s ARCore which was announced last week. Both can give modern smartphones AR-capabilities by just using the regular camera(s), instead of using dedicated sensors like Tango.

But those efforts mainly focus on viewing 3D content. What about capturing reality in 3D? Microsoft showed an impressive 3D Capture demo last year but it’s unclear when that cross-platform app will ever see the daylight.

But yesterday, at IFA Berlin, Sony announced its latest smartphone, the XZ1. Which has all the bells and whistles you expect from a flagship Android phone but also an app called 3D Creator. It basically does exactly what Microsoft showed last year, but is actually available — albeit exclusive for the XZ1.

It focuses on scanning faces for now, which is becoming increasingly popular for use as personalized avatars in games and VR/AR applications. Scanning looks like this:

So it’s actually Mobile Photogrammetry technology, accelerated by real-time feature tracking and progress guidance — both very needed to introduce newcomers to 3D scanning. This is not a new approach since it’s present in the TRNIO 3D scanning App for iOS and a tech demo from Seene which was acquired by the developer of SnapChat last year.

But it’s the first time this technology is really made available to consumers, complete with a dedicated product page about 3D capture instead of the strict AR-focus we’ve seen with other brands and devices — I like.

Keep in mind though that the “High-Resolution 3D Images” promised on that website relate to the textures shot with the XZ1’s 19MBP Motion Eye camera, which are overlayed over low-poly geometry. I found this example on Sketchfab which shows the result in non-marketing-video circumstances. It’s apparently captured with Sony’s lower-end XA1 phone, which could mean 3D Creator will be available on more devices.

 You can put the embed above in MatCap render mode (by using the gear icon) to see the geometry. As you can see it’s pretty basic but that doesn’t really matter. Actually, for purposed like 3D avatars low-poly geometry increases compatibility with mobile 3D games and mobile VR/AR applications.

Personally though, I was hoping for a little bit more geometric detail, which would have made the 3D models usable for more purposes.

Courtesy of Sony

On the bright side, when Sony designs consumer solutions they always look good and are easy to use which is a lot more important than scan quality for brining 3D capture to the masses.

Sony does promote the option to be able to order full color standstone 3D prints from your scans. This is fun as you can see below it can also be a bit creepy:

Courtesy of Sony

But luckily the app also allows users to directly share their scans on social media and Sketchfab, the service I use to show all 3D content on this website. As you can see below, Sketchfab’s CEO is very happy with this feature:

 The Sony Xperia XZ1 will be available in the US on September 19th and the XZ1 Compact on October 4th. I’ve reached out to Sony for a review model of the XZ1 and hope to be able to review it for you when I’m back from a well-deserved holiday in Greece.

Resource: 3D Scan Expert


Leave a reply

About The Author

Christiana Polycarpou

Communicatios Officer

Upcoming Events

all-day World Congress on Dance Research
World Congress on Dance Research
Jul 4 – Jul 8 all-day
You are invited to showcase your work at the Dance Research Congress. This unique event is open to all forms of dance: ballet, modern, folk, ballroom, Oriental, tango, therapeutic, recreational, revival etc. Venue is the[...]
all-day #EARTH2018 Digital Environments ...
#EARTH2018 Digital Environments ...
Jul 5 – Jul 7 all-day
#EARTH2018 Digital Environments for Education, Arts and Heritage
INTERNATIONAL AND INTERDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE Download the program here For more information and registrations click here
all-day FutureFest 2018 @ Tobacco Dock
FutureFest 2018 @ Tobacco Dock
Jul 6 – Jul 7 all-day
Occupy the future at FutureFest 2018 FutureFest, one of Europe’s largest festivals of the future, invites you on a breath-taking journey designed to explore how the most pressing challenges of our time could be tackled[...]
all-day “Electronic Visualisation and th... @ British Computing Society offices, a central London venue near Covent Garden.
“Electronic Visualisation and th... @ British Computing Society offices, a central London venue near Covent Garden.
Jul 10 – Jul 12 all-day
"Electronic Visualisation and the  Arts" - EVA London 2018 @ British Computing Society offices, a central London venue near Covent Garden.
We are excited to announce that the EVA London 2018 conference will take place from Tuesday 10th July – Thursday 12th July 2018. In addition, there will be a Pre-Conference Symposium on Monday 9th July 2018[...]
all-day “45th SIGGRAPH Conference on Co...
“45th SIGGRAPH Conference on Co...
Aug 12 – Aug 16 all-day
"45th SIGGRAPH Conference on  Computer Graphics and  Interactive Techniques"
SIGGRAPH 2018 is a five-day immersion into the latest innovations in CG, Animation, VR, Games, Digital Art, Mixed Reality and Emerging Technologies. Experience research, hands-on demos, and fearless acts of collaboration. For more information click[...]
all-day 24th Annual Meeting of the Euro...
24th Annual Meeting of the Euro...
Sep 5 – Sep 8 all-day
24th Annual Meeting of  the European Association of Archaeologists- EAA2018
Barcelona has been an urban laboratory since the high Medieval Ages. A place of diversity, a backdrop for  a multiplicity of social and cultural processes on multiple scales that reflect different ways of constructing the[...]
all-day EAA 2018 Annual Meeting in Barce... @ Faculty of Geography and History
EAA 2018 Annual Meeting in Barce... @ Faculty of Geography and History
Sep 5 – Sep 9 all-day
The EAA Annual Meeting, Barcelona proposes six main themes for discussion, all of them with a focus on thinking from within the framework of Archaeology and Archaeological Heritage about our future.Themes The Annual Meeting themes,[...]
all-day Communicating the Museum – CTM18...
Communicating the Museum – CTM18...
Sep 24 – Sep 27 all-day
Communicating the Museum – CTM18 Chicago
The Communicating the Museum (CTM) conference will travel to Chicago from 24 to 27 September 2018. Chicago’ leading cultural institutions will host the 21st edition of CTM, the rendez-vous for communication professionals working in the[...]
all-day CIDOC Annual Conference
CIDOC Annual Conference
Sep 29 – Oct 4 all-day
CIDOC Annual Conference
CIDOC organises an annual conference which typically incorporates: Plenary sessions with papers and reports on documentation issues and initiatives Workshops and tutorials on specific issues Working Group sessions during which members of the Groups pursue[...]
10:00 CIDOC 2018: Provenance of Knowledge @ Heraklion
CIDOC 2018: Provenance of Knowledge @ Heraklion
Sep 29 @ 10:00 – Oct 4 @ 16:30
CIDOC 2018: Provenance of Knowledge @ Heraklion
The ‘Provenance of Knowledge’ is a core element of good practice in documentation and so is the theme of the next annual CIDOC conference, in Heraklion from 29 September to 4 October 2018. As an[...]