C3’s Astonishing 3D Model Technology–Now Part of Apple?

In March of 2010, I went to a tech conference and saw a Swedish company called C3 Technologies demo its system for turning aerial photographs of cities into 3D worlds, with very little human intervention required. The video I linked to in the original post has disappeared from YouTube, but here’s another one:

I said in that post that C3’s work knocked my socks off and that I couldn’t wait to see it show up in commercial products. Now it sounds like it might make its way into the iPhone and iPad: 9to5 Mac’s Mark Gurman is reporting that Apple has bought C3. If it has, it’s acquired itself some amazing technology.


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  1. Ron October 30, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Nokia maps already have this for quite some time I believe.

  2. vulpine October 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Harry, it's be nice ifI could edit a word error in my comment.

    • Harry McCracken October 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      What needs to be fixed?

  3. vulpine October 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Oh, so short-sighted, Ron. You might also note that Nokia's home is somewhere right close to C3's old home, so that Nokia tech may be using C3's. Didn't think of that, did you.

    However, what I see is something much more long reaching than mere 3D mapping for handhelds and tablets; I see an extension of this tablet reaching into entertainment itself both professionally and to the amateur market. In fact, I, personally, have a use for exactly this kind of technology in my storytelling. I could easily see this technology appear in iPhoto, iMovie, Final Cut and who knows how many other graphical creation apps. This takes a huge piece of labor out of almost any 3d graphical work.

  4. Tea Kettles January 24, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    I see is something much more long reaching than mere 3D mapping for handhelds and tablets; I see an extension of this tablet reaching into entertainment itself both professionally and to the amateur market. In fact, I, personally, have a use for exactly this kind of technology in my storytelling. I could easily see this technology appear in iPhoto, iMovie, Final Cut and who knows how many other graphical creation apps. This takes a huge piece of labor out of almost any 3d graphical work.