Why do I have to use an uplink to scan with Skanect?


I bought the Structure Sensor and Skanect a year ago and am just getting around to using it. I am eternally frustrated that I cannot 3D scan with my ipad only! I do not understand this. Why do I have to uplink to a laptop via wifi to do this. It is exactly opposite of the reason to have a “portable” scanning devise. I am an architect and am often on sites where there is no wifi. So far, in all my scanning tests, the uplink is very slow and after a very short time of scanning on even medium it freezes.

I am hoping that you all will tell me I am an idiot because of course there IS a way to scan directly to the ipad without linking to the laptop, and then I can upload to laptop later when I am by wifi.

Any help out there?



Hello Ben,

There are a number of other 3D scanning apps you can use with Structure Sensor that don’t use the Uplink feature. For starters, try:



Thanks Adam, I am aware of a number of other apps, but Skanect is the one I paid a lot for and requiring an uplink via wifi to laptop makes it useless. Represents a poor understanding of the end user and their needs in my opinion. No reason it can’t work both way.



We do apologize for the confusion and really try to be very clear on how the Skanect software is used.

We would greatly appreciate if you could point us to where we have marketed Skanect that gave you the impression it could be used only with an iPad. This will help us direct our message more clearly.

Thanks so much!


As for using Skanect, could you let me know the specifications of your computer? Could you also let me know which settings you are using during a scan?


Anthony, how clever to ask where you say in your marketing that you can use Skanect with only an Ipad! Ha! of course you don’t do that, but then again, I never said you did. The problem isn’t what you say and don’t say, it’s that you can’t use it with an ipad alone! (however considering that it’s sold to go along with Structure Sensor - which is used only with an ipad!!! It’s a logical inference that you would NOT also need an laptop or desktop to even run your product). That’s the problem and the shortsightedness of your development. It might be great software, but if i can’t use it easily, what does it matter? maybe it was developed only for folks sitting at their desks, but still remarkably limiting. You can see that others are directing me to use other software because yours cannot do what i need. That’s all i want, to use the software without being tethered. Why can’t you offer this? Is this in the works? No reason I shouldn’t be able to scan fully unconnected and then upload to laptop when I am near wifi or can connect.


I do understand your frustration, and I do apologize for our part in misrepresenting the Structure Sensor and Skanect Software.

A bit of clarification.

The Structure Sensor isn’t only available for the iPad and can be used on many PC and Mac computers using our USB Hacker cable. The Skanect software is one way that you can use the Structure Sensor with a PC or Mac computer.

Please take a look at this following article that explains exactly how to use Skanect with the USB Hacker cable or via the Uplink functionality: https://support.structure.io/article/134-how-do-i-use-skanect-pro-with-my-structure-sensor. Skanect also works with many other sensors too!

As you can see on the following page, we are very clear that the Skanect Software only works on Mac and PC computers: https://skanect.occipital.com/.

I have, however, noted your feature request of being able to scan from your iPad remotely to our development team. Since the Structure Sensor does work directly with OpenNI 2 and OpenCV, you could develop your own scanning application(s) that includes the offline recording of the Structure Sensor’s data so that you can process it on your computer later.

By the way, the Scanner - Structure Sensor Sample application is Occipital’s sample application built with the Structure SDK (iOS) that allows for scanning directly on your iPad.

Let me know if you need any more clarification today.


I think Skanect does everything the developers claim it does. Sure there is a learning curve and I want a few more improvements but the fact is Skanect is accurate, portable, and thankfully it was just a one time investment. Please understand that the laptop is doing the heavy computing and storage not the I pad. Your wifi limitations should not be an issue because best results are when you go adhoc wifi network directly between the ipad and the computer. I am using an older slow ipad and still get a solid 24 fps. Are you having a tracking problem or a data rate problem? I think they are trying to help you.

As stated you can also usb the sensor directly to a light laptop so no i pad or wifi. Try it on any decent graphics machine and you’ll get solid 30 fps. Then its just a matter of good scan techique to maintain tracking.

I think Skanect was designed when i pads and i phone processors and graphics chips were borderline capable for 3d scanning. Its a different story now. I would love to see Skanect 2.0 app for my iphone X for a one time fee unlike the competition. Hint hint.