We’ve seen some pretty cool ideas come from software developers and engineers involving the iPhone. Although many of these technology demos never make it to consumer products, it’s always fun to see what people dream up.

This time we have an application that’s already made it to the App Store, but the innovation it uses is still astounding. Trimensional is an app for the iPhone that has the ability to scan 3D objects. While that alone might seem boring, it’s what you can do with the scanned image that’s so interesting…

ReadWriteWeb has posted a story about the app and its intriguing capabilities. Trimensional turns your iPhone into the smallest 3D scanner on the market. You can even take the scanned images and print them on a 3D printer.

The application is actually pretty simple. You just open it up and go to a dark room. The app uses your iPhone 4‘s front facing camera to detect light patterns off an object.

Once the image is captured, you can email it out or save it to the camera roll. That’s about all the app is good for unless you happen to have access to a 3D printer. Then the possibilities are endless. Anything you take a snap shot of, from your face to a chess piece can be turned into a physical 3D model.

Although 3D printers are still a ways away from mainstream consumer adoption, you have to admit the technology is pretty cool. Even just seeing yourself in 3D is worth the download. For those who want to check it out, Trimensional is available in iTunes for $0.99.

Where does this rank out of all the cool iDevice ideas you’ve seen?

  • Sascha

    I have downloaded the app months ago and it sucked…

    Went into a totally dark room (windowless closet) and tried it. The light that is emitted is so bright that the camera picks up objects from around you. You woluld need a really large and pitch black room, then.

    The quality of the picture it produced was really poor. Lots of flaws and distortions. You hardly manage to hold the camera still enough to get a decent result.

    As of the latest version you can now export the picture by mail and send them to your friends (for whatever reason), which was not possible with my version back then. So that made it even more pointelsse.

    Waste of time and money, if you ask me.

    • Sam

      Really? You think it’s a “waste of money” to spend $.99 to support really forward-thinking technological developments? I’d hate to see the future you imagine…

      • Jason Masters

        Yeah how dare you voice your opinion you must do as the dear leader has ordered us there shall be no deviation from thee plan!!

      • Sascha

        If you’d hate to see the future I imagine, yours must be the opposite 😉 And that would resemble something like in “Terminator” I guess, because I imagine a future with less horror and pain than we have now in this world.

        This is not about forward-thinking and techological development. My opinion in my posting above is about true value for money. Here and now. And as long as this app is as it is, it is a waste of money. Period!

  • Jason Masters

    Wth? I’m not sure if this is a joke or what but what is the ultimate point of taking small 3d pictures?

  • I’ve had this app for a while and it kinda sucks…. it doesn’t work that great as he says and who has a 3d printer home and wants to print his face in 3d?

  • Jake

    Well unlike Viny, I’ve had the app for a while and I think it’s awesome. I use it in a room with no windows that is super dark and i’ve gotten great, and some hilarious, scans. I just downloaded the update, and now you can actually send/post rotating images and movies, which is cool (even though I don’t have a 3D printer). It’s much more hilarious than, for example, the app that makes you look fat or bald, and really amazing technology.

  • Retroman

    I wonder would any of those companies that 3D print your World of Warcraft or Xbox avatar print these for you at a reasonable price. It’s about $60 to 3D print out your Xbox360 avatar so I’m sure they could do it.

    Or make a similar app that lets you do all the scanning like this app but also allows you to upload it and have it printed and shipped to you.

    • Jason Masters

      I had no idea people even did that?