By Eric Barnes, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

January 5, 2017 -- A Silicon Valley start-up called Bellus3D has developed a new technology that enables users to create 3D face models by scanning with their smartphones. The company is launching the technology at this week's CES show in Las Vegas.

Bellus3D Face Camera provides high-quality and cost-effective 3D face scanning for mobile devices, according to the company. Face Camera can be attached to a smartphone or tablet; users simply need to turn their head to create 3D models. The company believes that applications for Face Camera include video games, face surgery, digital makeup, face-recognition security, and more.

Face Camera is superior to existing 3D scanners, which are expensive and not optimized for high-quality face scanning, according to Bellus3D. The company will make Face Camera and its Android software development kit (SDK) available to third-party developers to create their own applications in the first quarter of 2017.

Face scans acquired on a smartphone
Face scans acquired on a smartphone using the Bellus3D Face Camera incorporating Inuitive's NU3000 processor. Image courtesy of Inuitive.

Bellus3D has partnered with Israeli 3D and advanced visualization developer Inuitive on the technology. Inuitive is providing its NU3000 system-on-chip (SoC) architecture, which incorporates two CEVA MM3101 high-performance, low-power imaging and computer vision vector digital signal processor (DSP) cores. The processor also integrates a dedicated hardware accelerator that can extract real-time depth maps from stereo vision input.

NU3000 replaces the camera interface in Face Camera, along with control and synchronization, mobile industry processor interface (MIPI) to USB, and the memory interface, which simplifies the design process significantly, the firms said.

CES 2017 selected Bellus3D to introduce Face Camera at Eureka Park Marketplace, a special area at the meeting for showcasing innovation. The company is also looking for hardware partners to commercialize Face Camera.


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