Polycam and Changing My Views On Augmented Reality
Last updated: Oct 8, 2022
This past year I got a new phone, an iPhone 13 Pro specifically for the LiDAR sensor, and specially to use one app: Polycam. Augmented Reality is an area of computing that I have been interested in since learning about Google Glass and ZeroUI, but have never been able to create it till now.
Let’s first define Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality:
- AR - overlays computed elements overtop your reality (camera view).
- VR - constructs a new digital world, like a video game.
With Polycam we can scan objects using the LiDAR sensor to gain texture and depth data of an object to eventually create a mesh. The LIDAR sensor creates a point cloud that Polycam manipulates (read more about the sensor data).
This app has completely changed how I look at my environment: from just passing by, to taking the time to discover the little details.
Here are a couple of my scans.
This is a dinosaur sculpture I found on the side of the road by the MOST in Syracuse.
This is a pendant light on the outside of the State Tower building entrance (Syracuse, NY).
Now, changing views:
I think, like most people, my views of AR have been tainted by the PR stunt Facebook is trying to pull by changing their name to “Meta” (see an additional issue with it) and pivoting to the corporate hellscape, Metaverse. With AR it feels like I can actually share physical things with someone virtually in a more concrete and connected way than just using a picture. We can combine different realities.
This journey also coincides with my WebAR journey. That will be a blog post too, but maybe next week, not now. It’s 95°F outside and the air feels like a big gulp.