Joseph Chumbley from Lockheed Martin provided me with this link to an article in MIT’s Technology Review where they highlight a new 3-D modeling cell phone app from Microsoft.
Here is how it works: “To capture a car in 3-D, for example, a person needs to take a handful of photos from different viewpoints around it. The photos can be instantly sent to a cloud server for processing. The app then downloads a photo-realistic model of the object that can be smoothly navigated by sliding a finger over the screen. A detailed 360 degree view of a car-sized object needs around 40 photos, a smaller object like a birthday cake would need 25 or fewer.”
See the embedded video to get a feeling for the high quality and speed. I think there is going to be a place in the 3-D imaging space where this will be “good enough”.