- Improved resolution is being achieved by improved sensors and better colimated sources of radiation. Also improving resolution are newer algorithms which compensate for movement, compensating for the bluring caused by both heartbeat and breath. As sensor technology improves and the cost drops, we can predict much larger sensor arrays allowing shorter overall exposure time.
- The previous generation of expensive proprietary computing hardware for CAT scanning is gradually being displaced by modified PC hardware. Medical 3D images are based on voxels (3D pixels). These data formats were largely incompatible with traditional PC graphics cards which represent 3D objects using large numbers of triangular surface patches. This incompatibility has become less of a barrier, for over the last three years PC graphics cards have become much more programmable and more flexible.
- Near Infra Red scanning, also known as 'Diffuse Optical Imaging', is a non-invasive form of 3D scanning particularly suited to measuring oxygenation state of the blood.
- Non-Medical: Low(er) resolution surface-object scanning has been used for many years in the film industry to capture shapes for digital animation and special effects. Using a standard camera and carefully controlled light patterns, for example a set of bars moving left to right, an object's shape can be scanned more rapidly than with a single beam. The cost of these 3D scanners will drop just as the price of high-resolution digital photography has dropped, allowing new uses, such as in body scanning prior to custom clothing made to o order and with perfect fit.
- Somatom Definition scanner (high-powered rotating x-ray) - 0.4mm resolution, whole scan done in about 17 seconds.
- New X-ray microscope for science and industry - tomographic imaging techniques, can deliver submicron resolution of the internal structures of opaque and multi-layer objects down to 50nm