Trimensional is a new app available on the iTunes store for 3D Scanning.
You can see a video of the app here:
It works only on the iPhone 4, using the front facing camera and requires you to turn the lights off and put the screen brightness at maximum.
That might give you a clue…
Yes – it’s our old friend structured light!
(For more information on structured light 3D scanning, check out my post on the Kinect).
I don’t have an iPhone 4 so I can’t try it myself, but what I have done is my own 3D Scanning using structured light.
The algorithm is relatively simple to implement if you want to do it yourself (if I find time to clean up my own C# implementation I will post it on GitHub for the curious), but if coding is not your thing you can do it yourself with a camera and a projector using Kyle McDonald’s processing implementation.
There is a good instructable that will show you how to do 3D scans using the three phase technique yourself step by step.
If you want to take your scanning to the next level the great folks at MakerBot Industries sell a nice kit containing laser cut wooden camera and projector mounts that will allow you to get calibrated 3D scans.
It’s a really great idea for an app. I wonder if anyone is working on an implementation for Android (don’t look at me…my Nexus One doesn’t have a front facing camera).