First look: Occipital Structure sensor iPad attachment aims to simplify, add precision to ...

in iPad
At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, Occipital showed off its Structure mobile depth sensor that attaches to the back of an iPad to capture a 3D model of whatever is in front of it, including small and large objects, and the overall layout of a room -- and AppleInsider just got one to try out.

The assembly process for the Structure Sensor and the bracket is pretty simple -- the sensor screws into a bracket for an iPad, and a wide-angle lens attaches over the camera. To wrap up the installation, a cable connects from the sensor to the iPad's Lightning port.

After starting the a scan and walking around a room, the room's model is built in real time, with the hardware capturing thousands of points of data for a 3D map using the Canvas app.

We've only just started using the sensor in conjunction with the Canvas app. After a very quick scan and trial, the app functions well for fairly accurate room measurements and scanning, but we're going to hammer on both the calibration process the sensor needs before the first use, and practical uses of the app more before we give it a thumbs up or down.

Occipital also claims the Structure sensor is the most popular device of its type for orthotics and prosthetics, due to being able to create a 3D model within ten seconds. Despite the speed, the generated model is accurate enough to create prosthetics or orthotics for patients, cutting development time down dramatically.

The Structure sensor is currently sold for $379, complete with a mounting bracket for one of a selection of iPads. The Canvas app is free from the App Store, though it requires the sensor to function.


  • Reply 1 of 11
    Interesting. I don’t like the look of the attachment itself, but I am interested to know what kind of results come from the testing. Try importing scanned models into a couple of 3-D modeling programs: Strata3D, Blender, Maya, etc.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,032member
    PLNAR might benefit from this as well. 

    Would be be interested in the kind of output it generates to see if it could be used with any 3D CAD software; marine design, house design, etc
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Yeah, us architects would love this.  Would love to know how accurate it is, and what 3D formats Canvas can export to.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,574administrator
    JayVee said:
    Yeah, us architects would love this.  Would love to know how accurate it is, and what 3D formats Canvas can export to.
    Given the stated accuracy of plus or minus 1.5 percent, I'm not sure what full-on architectural uses there will be. For a rough idea of what furniture is going to fit in a room, fine.  For precise measurements of materials? I'm not sure yet.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    I think it's pretty cool that it uses lightning instead of bluetooth. Always annoyed with accessories like keyboards that attach to iPads but use bluetooth out of what I assume is expense and the hassle of dealing with Apple's MFi program.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 662member
    Their current products don't get rave reviews for modelers, but new technology always makes generational leaps.  Looking forward to this next version.  
  • Reply 7 of 11
    I currently own an iSence the 3D systems branded version of this which was abandoned by 3D systems. My problem is since it was abandoned, Ocipital who made both
    versions has also abandoned the 3D systems version and offer a measly $75 off of buying their version(so have to buy it again for $300). If they offered Return the 3D systems
    version to them and for $75(or even $100) you can get the occipital version, I would jump on it . I still use mine from time to time. IT takes patience to make something with it
    with a decent mesh though.. SLOW.. 

  • Reply 8 of 11
    Video please. If you tried it out, you could shoot a video of you trying it out. It's 2018 fgs!
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,574administrator
    Video please. If you tried it out, you could shoot a video of you trying it out. It's 2018 fgs!
    This is essentially a de-boxing. More is coming.

    However, no video from me personally. It will get shipped to the video guys at some point, though.
  • Reply 10 of 11

    Look at this:

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