Algorithm turns smartphones into 3-D scanners

An algorithm developed by Brown University researchers my help bring high-quality 3-D depth-scanning capability to standard commercial digital cameras and smartphones.
Most of the high-quality 3-D scanners capture images using a technique known as structured light. A projector casts a series of light patterns on an object, while a camera captures images of the object. The way these patterns deform when striking surfaces allows the structured-light 3-D scanner to calculate the depth and surface configurations of the objects in the scene, creating a 3-D image.