Thanks to Alex Kogan for the heads up on this. As reported by “3ders.org” Disney Research was recently awarded a patent for technology that can build 3D models from 2D photographs. As we know that is something that both Microsoft and Autodesk are also doing, but the challenge is to do this at high resolution in cluttered environments.
The Disney Research, Zürich team, however, developed an algorithm that can effectively leverage these amounts of data, and process them efficiently without the need to keep all of the input data in memory at one time.
I doubt this technology will be available to the commercial world, but the results are impressive.