October 3, 2018

Update from the Scandy Team

Greetings Scandy fans! It has been a while! First of all, we are happy to be getting some press. The kind folks at Aniwaa have profiled Scandy Pro on their THE 9 BEST 3D SCANNING APPS FOR SMARTPHONES AND IPADS page. Our original Scandy app was profiled there, so it is great to have the updated version recognized.

Speaking of updated versions - we have pushed a TON of updates to Scandy Pro for iOS. We’ve introduced a plane-cut editing tool so you can clean up a scan on your phone - without exporting the file to your laptop first. Users can upload directly to Sketchfab. We’ve been introduced to some AWESOME 3D artists since we’ve put in the Sketchfab integration. We are psyched to have them using Scandy Pro. We will have an update out this week that provides ‘unbounded’ scanning - ‘Scan Mode v2’ on the Advanced Preferences page. This mode allows users to set a resolution from 1-4 millimeters and have Scandy Pro capture everything it sees - without the need for a bounding box. There are some limitations: the amount of data captured in any one scan is restricted to the amount of memory made available by the device. However, unbounded scanning will allow users to more easily 3D scan large objects or a full body without the need to keep the object within an (at times) hard-to-see bounding box.

Scan Mode v2

Apple announced three new iPhones - all with TrueDepth sensors! We are really excited that even more people can use Scandy Pro to create 3D content. We’ve seen estimates that over 150 million iPhone XS, XS Max and XR phones will be sold in 2019. This means that there will be over 200 million depth sensing iOS devices in the market by the end of next year. That is sure to bring a lot of people to 3D scanning by way of Scandy Pro and other apps that are sure to show up in the App Store. While the first iteration of Scandy Pro was geared towards 3D scanning nerds like us, we have already seen newcomers to 3D scanning start using Scandy Pro. This is truly exciting, because it validates our hypothesis that there are a lot of people that want to create 3D content - they just don’t know it yet!

The challenge for us is to make Scandy Pro easier to use for people that are new to the 3D scanning experience. (Challenge accepted!) Our goal has always been to bring 3D content creation to the masses. Of course not everyone has a depth-enabled phone. But we envision a day where a depth sensor in a mobile phone is as common as a 2D camera, so we are building for that user experience. Scandy Pro will be showing users a revamped look over the next month. You can catch a sneak peek at the new design by navigating to the settings page.

new settings page

Our onboarding experience will show users how to think about depth in their subjects and how to scan. We will also be introducing some tools to make the scans look better. We have started on the texture mapping module, and we are going to put some functions in that will make models 3D printable or AR/VR ready.

I do want to give a quick mention of something we get some flack for. I know, ‘never read the comments’. But I do because I want to hear how our users feel. App Store reviews are the lifeblood of apps, and Scandy Pro needs 5 star ratings as much as anyone. Almost all of the negative comments in our reviews are related to our pricing model. I will have a longer blog post about this topic at some point, but I did want to reiterate our position.

  1. We want to bring 3D scanning (via Scandy Pro) to the masses.
  2. If we were to charge for the app (instead of by subscription or per save) we would put the app out of reach for most users who just want to try it out.
  3. There are folks out there who insist that we shouldn’t charge per save because we are not rendering anything on the cloud. We see real benefits to users by keeping all processing and scans on device. Privacy is one benefit: Scandy doesn’t need to access your scans or information to provide you with a great service. Scandy Pro provides a secure content library existing solely on device unless and until you choose to move it elsewhere.

Our software does more than most servers do without the need for a network connection. We want Scandy Pro to work everywhere - not just when a network is available. But these features do come at a cost. Creating, maintaining, and improving that technology is why we charge on a recurring basis.

We believe there are other benefits to creating meshes and scans in real-time on the phone. Seeing the scan as it is being created, and getting instant feedback on how it turned out is superior user experience, we believe, than waiting for a rendered file to come back from a server. This is a great example of how edge computing > cloud computing for some applications - especially when there are situations when you might want to scan but don’t have connectivity.

  1. We give a free save per week to every user. We will be building in the ability to acquire more free saves through recommendations.
  2. We feel the subscription model is the best way to ask those users who see value in Scandy Pro to pay for it. Casual users have access for free. Enthusiastic users can scan for a year for less than a quarter of the price of an external sensor.
  3. The Software-As-A-Service model works for our team. We are committed to continuous improvement of the Scandy Pro application. Please don’t hate us because we have to pay the bills!

Those are my thoughts for today. Please reach out to us on Twitter. And check out the updates in Scandy Pro!

Scan on, my friends

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Scan On

Create in 3D with the phone in your pocket. With any TrueDepth iOS device you can get creative in three dimensions right now.