A new camera sensor could turn your smartphone into a three-dimensional scanner. Researchers from California Institute of Technology recently developed a tiny high-resolution 3D imager that would easily fit in a phone-size device.

DSLR camera with mirror down

This cheap but accurate nanophotonic coherent imager utilizes a silicon chip just under a square millimeter in size. The NCI offers the highest depth measurement accuracy of any similar device. With this kind of technology the New Camera Sensor Could Turn Your Phone Into a 3D Scanner.

The imager feature could easily apply to a large range of applications from precise 3D scanning to helping self-driven cars avoid car crashes.

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This new camera sensor technology offers the potential to transform smartphone and other mobile technologies. It already is featured in other tech gadgets such as robots and self-driving cars.  The smartphone has become a lifeline for many people who use it on an everyday basis.  The researchers say the possibilities of this new technology could redefine the smartphone as we know it.