REPLICATE - Creating a world in 3D with a smartphone

Wednesday, 30 March, 2016

The European scientific project will be coordinated by Trento-based Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

(v.l.) Imagine yourself in a square, taking a picture with your smartphone and getting not just a ‘flat’ 2D picture you can send to your friends, but also an immersive 3D model of the buildings you have just captured. Once back home, you could project the three-dimensional image into a room, enter this digital world and then change, disassemble and assemble it like virtual pieces of a construction set.

This may sound like science fiction but it is one of the possible scenarios opened by the development of the technologies of REPLICATE (cReative-asset harvEsting PipeLine to Inspire Collective-AuThoring and Experimentation), the European scientific project coordinated by Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Trento. The countless developments will range from architecture to art, entertainment and, in general, technological services based on smart media, customized according to the expectations of users.

"The goal of REPLICATE", explains Stefano Messelodi, head of the TeV (Technologies of Vision) Research Unit at FBK’s ICT Center, "is to create a system that takes advantage of the sophisticated sensors integrated in the latest smartphones and mobile devices, to enable the accurate and reliable modeling of 3D objects and environments. Also, advanced visual and tactile interfaces, applications and software platforms for content creation both in individual and collaborative contexts will be made available.”

"Thanks to REPLICATE" - Paul Chippendale, Project Manager with TeV and coordinator of the project emphasizes - "it will be possible to integrate cutting-edge research in artificial vision into the new frontiers of Mixed Reality. The creative content will be made available to any user, in any place and at any time, via mobile phones, tablets and on the Cloud. During the project, we will work closely with different types of users to understand how our technologies can be used in practical situations. We have already encountered a great enthusiasm from international television producers".

 As far as Fondazione Bruno Kessler is concerned, also the 3DOM (3D Optical Metrology) Unit, led by Fabio Remondino will take part in the project providing their knowledge and experience in the field of photo-based 3D scanning. "The research activities of 3DOM", says Remondino, "are linked to the automation of photogrammetric procedures applied to architecture, cultural heritage, the land, and the environment. In REPLICATE, these methodologies will be transferred to mobile devices to make them available to a large number of users. "

The project, launched earlier this year, will end in 2018 and will receive funding of 3.2 million Euros from the European Commission. Fondazione Bruno Kessler will coordinate the work of the research centers and companies such as ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (Germany), t2i - transferimento tecnologico e innovazione (Italy), Wikitude (Austria), Gameware (UK) and Animal Vegetable Mineral (UK).


More info at:

-      TeV Unit (Fondazione Bruno Kessler):

-      3DOM Unit (Fondazione Bruno Kessler):

-      The project website:

Centers and units: