Microsoft wants to turn any ordinary smartphone into a 3D scanner, with the assistant of a newly revealed Microsoft Research project called MobileFusion.

Microsoft Research team members created the MobileFusion software application for smartphones. Microsoft says:

"The researchers then developed an algorithm that allowed the camera to act as a 3D scanner, using a technique of taking multiple images that is similar to how the human eye works."

The creation of the 3D model can be seen in the app in real-time, so that users can decide if the model is good enough for, say, 3D printing or augmented reality games. If it's not good enough, the user can simply try again to scan the 3D object until he or she is happy with the final result.

The MobileFusion team plans to show off their early results at the MobileFusion at the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality in early October. The ultimate goal is to release MobileFusion as a public smartphone app, but there's no word on when, or if, that might happen.

Source: Microsoft