When it comes to 3D imaging cameras, such as those used in video games and for 3D printers, your options are kind of limited unless you want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on multiple pieces of equipment. This fact alone makes the $1,800-$2,800 Lynx A Camera from Austin-based startup Lynx Laboratories all the more impressive.
“Really, it’s kind of stupid that nobody is making highly sophisticated cameras that can do more than one thing at a time, like with (camera-specific) apps,” Lynx Labs co-creator and CEO Chris Slaughter told me during last night’s startup crawl at SXSW. “We’re looking for the low-hanging fruit for people who want 3D imaging data and offering them a way to actually do something with it.”
The camera records all angles of a non-moving object and then displays it on screen. As you can see in the videos below, the team recorded a guy dressed in an iPhone costume who was sitting on a giant bean bag. Once the image was processed, you could see the dimensions of the costume and bean bag as if you were changing the viewing angle on a video game. In addition to object modeling, the Lynx Camera can also do motion capture (for use in games and animation) and scene modeling and can record for green screens.
The startup, run by six current students at UT Austin, already has a $150,000 funding grant from the university and a patent on the technology. Additionally, the team has raised $82,000 from a Kickstarter campaign that still has another nine days left before closing.
“The market opportunity here is just incredible,” Slaughter said. He explained that the 3D imaging tech alone would be useful for many industries, including healthcare, national defense, game development, shipping, and more.
Slaughter said the cameras can be produced in about two hours. The team currently has about 40 orders from the Kickstarter campaign.
Photo by Tom Cheredar