We're not sure anything could ever replace the satisfying "ca-click" sound of our old Fisher-Price View-Master 3D unit, but the ZScanner 700 3d scanner does have the bonus feature of actually being useful. Currently showing at SIGGRAPH '06 in Boston, the ZScanner 700 is a handheld unit that can scan and digitize 3D surfaces in real time, using laz0rs and dual cameras. The resulting 3D object is reflected on screen as it is imaged, and since you can move the imaged object and the ZScanner while capturing data continuously, you supposedly end up with a better model and less post processing as an end result (if their PR material is to be believed). The downside to all this freedom and accuracy is the ZScanner's $39,900 pricetag, but we're sure you can make all that back in a jiffy once you've built a functioning replicator to complement the device.

[Via Medgadget]

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ZScanner 700 -- almost as cool as a View-Master 3D