Apparently, Apple released a new iPad recently. I had just finished moving into my new home – a cozy little hole under a large rock – as the news was being announced, so I didn’t even realize that it had happened. But it did! Which means that, if you were one of the almost 3,000 backers of the Structure Sensor on Kickstarter and were hoping to attach the 3D scanning device to your new iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display, you might be a little worried about compatibility. Well, fret not. Occipital, the startup behind the Structure Sensor, has adapted its product to Apple’s latest release.
Occipital’s scanner is not unlike a Microsoft Kinect that can be fixed to your Apple tablet to capture 3D data for such uses as 3D printing, room mapping and augmented reality. And, to ensure that the Structure Sensor will work with the new iPads, they’ve designed new mounting brackets. As most backers will receive their sensor in February and March of next year, Occipital will include their updated precision brackets in the majority of their orders. Backers that opted for the beta and prototype models of the Structure Sensor, will be receiving the device before the new brackets are ready, however. Not to let down early adopters, the Occipital team has covered these backers with 3D printed brackets to make the sensor compatible with the latest iPads. Then, when the final brackets are ready in early 2014, those early birds will receive the real deal at no extra charge.
The Structure Sensor is also already compatible with the updated hardware of the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display. Apple’s new iterations use a 64-bit A7 processor and a Lightning Connector. The sensor was already designed to work with a lightning connector and has been tested with the iPhone 5S, which also uses the A7 processor. Occipital found that not only does it work with the A7, but the new processor even increases the speed of the sensor.
Jeff Powers, CEO and co-founder of Occipital, thought that the new generation of iPad would enhance the power of the Structure Sensor, saying, “The new iPads are both lighter and much faster than their predecessors. The lighter weight will make it more fun to carry around your Structure-equipped iPad, and the processing power will make for a dramatic improvement in framerate in Structure-powered apps. Since Structure Sensor apps are pushing the limits of mobile computing, they will really show off the new compute power of the A7 processor in the new iPad models.”
Sounds just fine to me! And, if you do decide to hand over even more of your money to Apple and are looking for something useful to do with your old iPad, don’t just use it as a coaster! Consider sending it to someone in need. I’m sure there are plenty of charities out there, such as iLab//Haiti, that can use the old things!