Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH)

ETH is developing mobile solutions for the acquisition of 3D shapes, turning smartphone photos into 3D information through a combination of local computation on the mobile devices and the cloud. Distributed modelling is supported by an interface that shows the user a partial reconstruction on-the-fly and where it might be best to take further images to improve the model. The joint mobile-cloud solution will facilitate an unprecedented level of object understanding as it is integrated into the 3D acquisition process. This will yield better 3D models with enhanced usability. ETH is also investigating the semantic analysis of models, e.g. windows, doors, etc... to fill in unavoidable holes in the 3D models.

The Computer Vision Lab has created several spin-offs in the area of computer vision already. ETH intends to turn the mobile/Cloud 3D modelling application into a company, in order to safeguard its further maintenance and development after project end. ETH wants to make the tools it produces under the project available for free as long as the resulting models are also offered at no cost to others, and derived products (e.g. 3D printed replicas) derived from those are offered to others at production cost. A license will be required to use the ETH tools for commercial purposes. In any case, also when no dedicated spin-off is setup, ETH will keep its cluster available to keep on running the Cloud part of the hybrid mobile/Cloud 3D acquisition, including a content management system for easier documentation and archiving of created visual artefacts in the Cloud.