Thanks to the big giant brains at Matterport, everyday users now have a way to scan and render our environments in 3D, and it doesn't have to take forever or cost a fortune.

Matterport's latest is a handheld scanner that can model 3D objects or rooms in just minutes, so you can make realistic maps for your FPS games, or another project. If it reminds you of Kinect technology, you're barking up the right tree: The company even used a Kinect to help develop this, since it uses two 3D depth sensors and an RGB camera to multi-dimensionally capture and render a room. Likewise, Matterport creates a 3D wireframe and overlays it with textures on the spot. What's truly stunning is how fast it happens. The closest competitors might be Z Corp and NextEngine, both of which have gadgets that can do the same thing, but are slower. They're also pretty expensive, at roughly $3,000, which is another fact that might this handheld device apart. The retail price, says one of the co-founders, should retail for "eighteen times cheaper." Maybe that's an exaggeration, but if it can debut for a few hundred bucks, then it stands a decent chance of success.

There's no announced release date yet, but we can't wait to see this come to market. For more on this very cool piece of technology, be sure to hit up the video.

How could you see a 3D rendering tool like this being used? Deposit your best ideas below in the comments.

[via SingularityHub]