Update March 2017
3D Capture isn’t going to be released with the Creators Update and currently has no release date. The company shared the following statement with MSPoweruser:

“The capability to capture objects from your world in 3D using the camera on your phone is not one of our Creators Update features. As we shared in October, we envision the functionality being available across platforms, and we’re working to bring to mobile devices in the future.”

Last Wednesday, Microsoft introduced a lot of new hardware, like the Surface Studio and a new Surface Book. These devices, with their large displays that can be used with touch, pens and even a the new Surface Dial, it’s clear that Microsoft is targeting creators.

This was further emphasized by a new Windows 10 update, aptly named the Creators Update. It contains a lot of new features, but I was especially surprised to see that a lot of these are focussed around 3D. This is why:

3D can better communicate ideas and expression, it accelerates comprehension because it’s much more representative of the world in which we live.

Of course, I totally agree and it’s good to announced many features to support this statement, including a 3D version of Paint and a 3D sharing network called Remix3D which looks like Microsoft’s take on Sketchfab.

But what especially caught my attention is that Microsoft will build 3D Capture into Windows 10 Mobile, that will work with a regular smartphone camera.

microsoft-windows-10-creator-3d-capture-small

We start by making creations as easy as taking a photo. The objects from our lives hold a special significance marking our history and memories.

The way it does it is beyond most Photogrammetry apps that let you take separate pictures. The capturing method looks more like that of the app Trnio (it’s on my comparison list of Free Mobile Photogrammetry Apps) that also let’s you walk around an object in a single, fluid motion.

It all looks pretty good—and fast. Apparently the 3D model is ready almost instantly after capturing. No way to tell if this is all processed locally, but it looks that way. And while the above is a clip from Microsoft promotional video (full video at the bottom of this post), they also made a 3D capture of a sandcastle live on stage:

The great thing is that this will not only come to Windows 10 phones, but also to iOS and Android.

My only questions is… When?

Here’s the “Introducing 3D in Windows 10” video. If you pay attention, you can also spot the HP Sprout Pro computer-and-3D-scanner-in-one I reviewed last week around the 1:48 mark.