3D scan in real time using Xbox Kinect

This is a real-time 3D scanning with Xbox Kinect at the beach in Oregon, by James Dietrich and Mark Fonstad. The device projects an infrared pattern (see this other video) and by looking at that pattern reflected on the real objects it calculates the distance for each pixel, in real time. In this case, I am the 'real object', besides the camera holder. This information allows the computer software to 3D rotate the object in the screen in real time (while the object moves, for instance), changing the perspective.
The potential applications for geoscience are... infinite! For example: no need to measure and count pebbles any more, you river geomorphologists, just a 2-second scan and there it comes your grain-size distribution!

And this is a group 3D-picture he took at the same Bretz Meeting in Oregon, last week:
Amazing, ha? It's a 3D model based on a series of pictures taken with a normal camera.

Follow this link to learn more technical details about the device.


  1. "just a 2-second scan and there it comes your gran-size distribution"?

    A bit too much optimistic? A grain-size distribution starts with pebbles (more often sands) and ends with clays (which are smaller than 2 microns)...I think we need a bit more technological developments here :-)

  2. I'm only interested in boulders, bro! But give this guy some time and he will count your cells.

  3. how do you send electricity to the kinect from the la lap-top?

  4. What software did you use to record?

  5. Nice! Where can I download your software?

  6. Hi everyone,
    I've posted a few links to Kinect software on my blog.

    In the video that Daniel took we were using RGB Demo, but things have come a long way since last year.