Say what you want about Microsoft, but the boys in Redmond sure know how to make some interesting (if useless) technology. Hot on the heels of tech like Surface, and Kinect (OK, not all of it’s useless) comes a new way of creating accurate 3D models – using your mobile phone.

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The story here actually blew our minds. MIT’s Technology Review got to see the new technology courtesy of Microsoft’s Johannes Kopf, part of the team at Microsoft Research. What he showed off was a beautiful 3D render of a BMW car. Kopf says the render was the result of ‘around 40’ photos taken with his mobile phone. Microsoft’s new stitching technology then throws them all together and intelligently moulds them into a full 3D, movable image.

The beauty here is the ease with which these images can be created. According to Kopf, the didn’t take any real care when taking the photographs – no tripods or tape measures needed. If this software found its way into an app store anybody could use it. Sounds awesome, right?!

One potential drawback is a fairly obvious one. As the method used is basically time lapse, there is no way to capture moving objects. A downer, but not a deal-breaker.

Be sure to check out Technology Review’s video, and prepare to be impressed.

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