A team at Microsoft has developed a smartphone app that allows users to create 3D images in a virtual space. The user simply takes several photographs of an object at different viewpoints. Then, the photos are sent to a cloud server for processing. Afterwards, the app downloads a photo-realistic model of the object, which can then be viewed from any angle 360 degrees around.
For example, creating a 3D car requires the user to take 40 car photographs. The team also created a web browser plug-in that enables viewing on the Internet.
"You could be selling an item online, taking a picture of a friend for fun, or recording something for insurance purposes...These 3-D scans take up less bandwidth than a video because they are based on only a few images, and are also interactive."