Despite the prevalence of 3D in modern consumer culture—scores of TVs, popular movies, Amazon’s Fire one, for example—3D technology has a long road to travel before it becomes fully mainstream. That’s where Mantis Vision, the company behind the 3D mapping technology used inside ’s oject Tango tablet, hope their tablet SDK will inspire others by making it a cinch to create 3D content.
” want to make it not only as easy as possible…we want to have an open stard in the market,” said Amihai ven, CEO of Mantis Vision. The Mantis Vision tablet is called Aquila, it specializes in scanning photographing physical objects then rendering them into interactive 3D scenes. It also works with real-time streams 3D video, so none of the content it creates is static.
The tablet is manufactured by Flextronics. It’s basic-looking, it resembles a typical mid-range Android tablet, inside it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM. Aquila is also packed with a Sony IMX135 13-megapixel CMOS image sensor, a Omnivision OV9714 1-megapixel near infrared camera sensor, an IR flash projector, a white D flash. These four components are used in tem to record content, but it’s Mantis Vision’s SDK that helps transform that content into 3D.
The Aquila tablet makes it look easy to do: record a video with the tablet’s rear-facing camera IR sensors, then plug it into the application to render a three-dimensional model of the subject. The end result is a 360-degree model, complete with side profiles shadows. Even extraneous parts of the recording, like the wall or a trash bin, make it into the render.
ven had me try on a Cardboard headset to experience the technology in motion. I swiveled around in an office chair with the goggles on was interacting with a 3D-rendered version of a man driving a car on a road. It wasn’t refined like like an Oculus Rift or Samsung Galaxy VR demo, but it was a good example of what’s possible for a tinkering developer to make with just his Android device.
If this sounds somewhat familiar, that’s because ‘s oject Tango is very similar. In fact, Mantis Vision actually partnered with in February to include its 3D-sensing technology in the oject Tango developer tablet. But ven wants the Aquila tablet to st out from ‘s offering. “Tango is limited,” he explained. “The motivation there is to create an ecosystem of hardware, so [that it’s a] commodity. try to differentiate our technology. ’re trying to push the performance the usage of content creation to the edge.”
ven added that Mantis Vision is targeting two particular demographics with the Aquila tablet. The first is application developers, specifically “those that want to do augmented reality—if they want to just develop a game they can work on top of the Vuforia SDK develop their games over it.”
The second group are content creators, “those that would kill to put their hs on something that could create such quality data instantly by just capturing.” Mantis Vision isn’t wholly focused on consumers as its target market, but it hopes that the developers will take its technology make things that anyone can indulge in. ” are hoping that there will be a stard of 3D videos that will grow, it’s very possible that we will work with different open source communities that want to contribute to the platform because of their needs,” said ven. He added that hopes that developers will use the open SDK to develop 3D rendering technology that’s just as easy as applying a filter to a photo on Instagram, for instance.
If you’re a developer interested in the Aquila development kit, you can pre-order it for $925 at Qualcomm’s Uplinq mobile developer conference this week in San Francisco; otherwise the development kit will be available to order in early 2015 through varying licensing partners.