Polhemus | Tech | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published September 24, 2008 at 3:18 p.m.

Not too many Vermont companies work for Hollywood and the U.S. military. Polhemus — which describes itself as "first in the third dimension" — is certainly the only one in Colchester. The company is an industry leader in motion tracking, or measuring movement, whether the goal is to analyze a golf swing or track soldiers in training on a simulated battlefield.

Polhemus' other unique product is FastSCAN, a portable, handheld laser scanner that creates 3D models in real time. The scanner gathers measurements made by sweeping a handheld laser-scanning wand over an object — as in spray painting. As the object is being scanned, the image instantly appears on a computer screen. FastSCAN has been used to revolutionize the orthotic/prosthetic market by replacing the old plaster method with a system that scans the residual limb to get a perfect model of the limb surface.

The product was also used to scan a 6-foot maquette of the cave troll in the movie Lord of the Rings.