Oct. 29, 2014 | By Alec

Anyone with access to internet will know them: photos of particularly tasty looking dishes. Whatever form of social media you prefer, chances are your homepage is filled with your friends' photos of chocolate cakes, BBQ ribs and three-story tall burgers. They're probably as old as the internet itself, and chances are you've taken the odd food-photo yourself. I know I have.

However, you will have probably noticed that all these photos are in 2D, which does much to diminish the deliciousness of whatever unhealthy meal you're trying to share. Wouldn't it be so much more cool and convenient if you can share a 3D image with your friends?

If you answered 'Yes!', then the 3DAround app is definitely something for you. This app will let you shoot a quick photo in a cool 360-degree, swivel-around photo with just your smartphone. It's very simple and user friendly: Simply hit record, revolve your camera phone or tablet around your dish of choice, and the app will merge all the photos it takes into single 3D image at a moment's notice. Isn't that cool?

There are just two problems: one, you'll need iOS 8 to use it, which not all Apple products have yet. Two, it's not quite released yet. The 3DAround camera app is set to launch in the App Store next month, and will be available for all iPhone models of 5 and up.

The App has been developed by the Dacuda software company, who've also masterminded the release of the PocketScan app a while ago. That app is perfect for quickly scanning documents when you don't have access to an actual scanner. Unlike that app, the 3DAround will always get a perfect angle, as it uses every single one.

As the CTO of Dacuda, dr. Alexander Ilic told reporters from techcrunch, 'It's a really good time for this kind of tech because Apple just opened up the camera APIs. We need pretty low-level access to controlling exposure time, focus, and more.' And these features have just abeen allowed in iOS 8, explaining the app's exclusive nature.

Illic explained that he got his inspiration for the app from watching some friends take dozens of photos from a single plate of food, rather than eating it. Surely even social media addicts are allowed to enjoy their food before it gets cold? And this is exactly what this app enables. It should, reportedly, extract depth and structure data from a rapid-fire photos photos to create the a 3D view of the contents of your plate. And obviously, social media sharing functions will be included.

Now obviously, you might wonder why we would write about such an app on a website dedicated to 3D printing technology, but the answer is simple. Naturally, the possible uses of the 3DAround app go far beyond food photography. Why not make 360 degree photos of other objects? And who is to say that these photos aren't particularly suited for 3D printing? After all, it's basic principle closely resembles that of a 3D scanner, albeit for your phone.

Think about it. Just two weeks ago we reported on an intriguing method of extracting 3D files out of your favourite games and reworking these to be suitable for 3D printing. Who is to say that a similar process won't work on the 3D photos of 3DAround? While we will have to wait and see how this interesting app works in practise and what kind of files it generates, we could potentially have a 3D scanner in our hands. We'll keep you updated as soon as we learn more about it.

Posted in 3D Scanning

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