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Augmented Reality on iOS Tablets with Occipital's Structure Sensor

3D map, scan and enter a virtual world with this device

by David Graver
on 20 July 2015

On 1 November 2013, Occipital received $1,290,440, by way of Kickstarter, to fund the production of their Structure Sensor. Functional models began shipment in June 2014 and ever since, the brand, its software and accompanying iOS app have been in further development—advancing a first-of-a-kind service. The small sensor clasps onto an array of iPad models and offers unprecedented 3D scanning and mapping for the masses. This allows from accurate depth analysis, spatial restructuring and even virtual redecoration. The uses don't end there, however. From color 3D object-scanning, 360-degree mobility and even body scanning, the applications are seemingly endless and ever-updating. As the software is hackable, that leads to even greater expansion. Ease of use is key here, with the sensor, USB cable and the app being all that are required, though the bracket makes things seamless. More importantly, however, an exciting new development has come to light in recent months.

An arsenal of virtual reality meets augmented reality games now accompanies the Structure Sensor, pressing the industry forward. To best understand this melding of worlds, one has to look at both parts. Virtual reality, as with an Oculus Rift experience, places users in another world—fictional and imaginative. With augmented reality, digital constructions can be inserted into real life. Through the Structure Sensor, however, users enter a virtual real world. The best way to experience this is through a free iOS game called S.T.A.R. OPS, also developed by Occipital. It employs all of the Structure Sensor's acute positional tracking. While the game is brief—and exceptionally fun—it only hints at the potential of the sensor.

The Structure Sensor is available for purchase online for $379. The device is compatible with the iPad 4th Generation, iPad Mini 2/3, iPad Air, and iPad Air 2.

Video and images courtesy of Occipital

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