At the SPAR International Conference in April 2014, Kirk Knorr from Burns & McDonnell and Gregory Lawes of point3D gave a presentation about their experience using a handheld scanner from DotProduct LLC , a relatively new startup. This is a professional device intended for engineers and others working in the construction industry. It is basically a 7" Android tablet with a compact near infrared structured light and rgb 3D imaging system. It weighs less than a kilogram and is accurate for engineering purposes at distances up to 3.3 meters. It costs thousands of dollars, much less than the tens of thousands of dollars for terrestrial laser scanners. Kirk Knorr and an engineer from Bechtel reported that he had been using the device on live construction projects for a year and in their view the DotProduct and similar handheld devices are going to revolutionize how we do construction. They foresaw this happening very soon, within a year.
Now a major metrology company FARO has announced the Freestyle3D Scanner, which is a high precision, handheld scanner which generates high-definition point clouds. It can be used to scan objects within a range of half a meter to 3 meters away with a resolution in 3D of better than 1.5mm with a image point density of up to 45,000 points/m² at 0.5m and up to 10,500 points/m² at 1m. The total scan volume can include up to 8.1m³. The device weighs less than a kilogram with dimensions 26cm x 31cm x 10.5cm. The scanner is attached to a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet for visualizing the point cloud as you scan.
Some of the applications of the scanner include architecture and interior design, restoration and 3D modelling, construction and facility management, and forensic applications including accident reconstruction.
Thanks to LiDAR News for pointing me to this.