Photo app developer Occipital
has set its sights on hardware for mobile devices. Its first endeavor, the Structure Sensor, is a promising accessory planned for the iPad which promises to add Kinect-like depth detection to its built-in camera.
Occipital says the Structure Sensor has, in addition to depth sensing, other potential applications in augmented reality (AR) and object scanning. The device is purpose-built to attach to the iPad's camera but can link up to other devices via Bluetooth. The first developer units are expected to arrive for Kickstarter
backers this December.
Other companies such as Intel and PrimeSense have 3D camera hardware either in the pipeline or already at market, but the Structure Sensor is the first designed for the iPad and similar devices.
"There's something about being the first to bring [a 3D] sensor [to iPad]," Occipital CEO Jeff Powers tells AllThingsD
, in explaining the company's decision to accelerate project development through crowdfunding. "We don't have to sell five million of these devices to succeed."