Photocopying in three dimensions

IFA 2008: Toshiba looking to revolutionise 3D technology
IFA 2008: Toshiba looking to revolutionise 3D technology

Toshiba has being showing off its new 3D wares at this year's IFA show in Berlin. The company has been showcasing some interesting three dimensional technology that allows you to photocopy 3D images.

The technology is part of a project from Toshiba Research Europe's Cambridge Research Laboratory.

Speaking about the new technology, Professor Roberto Cipolla, who is head of the research team said: "This is revolutionary new technology. Using this technology, consumers will soon be able to create a 3D photocopy in their own home, something a few years ago was stuff of fantasy."

A machine creates a 3D model from digital photographs. An object is placed on a patterned piece of paper, photographed from all sides, and then the images are fed into the system.

3D photocopier software then renders a 3D photocopy. Once the photocopy is created, users can look at the object from all angles on the computer.

3D world

Toshiba's second dip into 3D involves a new virtual world the company has set up. Cambridge Research Laboratory have once again been busy delving into 3D. This time they are developing a system that can capture and track 3D shapes, so bends and wrinkles can be shown in real-time.

Eventually the technology should mean that users will be able to create more realistic avatars of themselves for, say, online worlds or computer games.

It's not just for gamers, however, as the technology could also be used by retailers to show off garments on their websites in a more realistic, er, fashion.

Demonstrations of these 3D technologies will be going on throughout this year's IFA.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.