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iOS app DekkoScan to let you turn real objects into Minecraft blocks

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DekkoScan, an upcoming iOS app from San Francisco-based studio Dekko, will let you scan 3D objects in the real world and turn them into objects for use in Minecraft, said one of the developers in a post on Reddit.

The app — which currently supports iPad 2 and newer, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 — works by using a device's camera to map an object with video as the user moves around it. DekkoScan then generates a version of the object with Minecraft blocks that users can export directly to their save game folder or to MCEdit, a world editor for the game. You can see the process demonstrated in an image gallery and a Vine video.

According to software engineer Anthony Maës, Dekko has been working on the core 3D-tracking technology for two years and originally built it for an augmented-reality car game called Tabletop Speed that was released last month.

Dekko is hoping to attract larger developers to its proprietary scanning technology with that game and the upcoming app, said Maës.

"We got this awesome technology and ideally real game studios would build on top of it, but before anybody trusts us and chips in, we got to develop a few proof-of-concept apps ourselves and have users who love them," he explained.

Maës acknowledged the app's limitations, pointing out that it's not as precise as the two-year-old Kinect hack to scan objects into Minecraft because it doesn't have two cameras available to use. "Our stuff won't look as good as that at the beginning, but it will be vastly easier to use," he said.

DekkoScan is currently in Apple's approval process, and Dekko expects it will be available soon on the iTunes App Store. Maës said the studio can't afford to develop an Android version right now, but hopes to do so in the future.