Occipital Launches Structure Core

29 November 2018

Five years ago, the world knew Occipital as a creator of computer vision software for smartphones (especially RedLaser). At the time, it would have been logical to assume that our next product would be another app. Yet, behind the scenes, we were working on something entirely new for us: hardware.

When we launched Structure Sensor in September 2013, we didn't know if it would be a success or not. We wanted to use 3D sensing on mobile for computer vision ourselves, but we also thought that if we created an easy-to-use platform for 3D scanning, it could enable a whole new range of applications. We were building sophisticated hardware for the first time, and we put the whole team on it. This was a "bet the company" move, and we were excited to see it pay off in a successful launch on Kickstarter where we raised almost $1.3MM.

Since that launch, the Structure Sensor platform has attracted a developer community that numbers in the thousands and has created over 120 publicly-available apps for the Structure Sensor. We're approaching 100K Structure Sensors sold. And the Structure platform has radically changed how work gets done in industries ranging from architecture to medicine to visual effects.

And Structure Sensor isn't going anywhere; its popularity continues to grow, and it remains the best option for anyone who wants to add world-facing 3D sensing to an iOS device.

Yet we've always known that there was a different set of developers, hackers, and researchers who needed 3D perception, and whose needs we weren't entirely addressing.

So today, we're proud to announce Structure Core: a new sensor that makes it easy to add spatial awareness to a new generation of advanced products. With support for multiple platforms like Linux and Windows, and a self-contained design with onboard IMU and visible camera, all in a package that's half the weight and just over half the z-height. Structure Core works perfectly with devices that Structure Sensor was never specifically designed to work with, like robots, drones, and AR/VR headsets. These are the products that will become commonplace in the next few years, and spatial awareness is becoming a fundamental characteristic of all of them.

Structure Core began as an idea on a whiteboard four years ago, when we embarked upon a journey to create a new sensor. The journey was difficult, in part because while the first Structure Sensor leveraged some of the same components in the Kinect, Structure Core was built from the ground up by our team. One of the most interesting parts of this new design is our new high-contrast, eye-safe laser projector, which lets Structure Core achieve best-in-class range while still achieving a major reduction in z-height. And that's all before things like precise robot-arm-powered calibration, a dozen new production line stations, and components from all around the world.

Five years ago, the world knew Occipital for sophisticated smartphone apps. A week ago, the world knew us for making the best 3D sensor for iPad. And a year from now? You'll just have to wait and see...

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