These people do some cool stuff. Like these, for instance. Way cool. They've scaled them down somewhat for the web, as bandwidth remains something of a concern for these apps right now. But that will change soon enough. Go on, check them out--load one up (sorry, it takes a while) and then run your mouse over it while holding the left click down. The images are made by taking multiple images from a camera kept in a stable position, while the light source gets moved (or multiple sources exist) in order to pick up the different reflections. This creates the possiblility of combining the information from the individual digital images to display three dimensional visual information in a two dimensional representation. I don't see them on the website, but CHI also combines multiple examples of Polynomial Texture Maps of the same object seen from different angles, so that it may be seen in the round and with the increased surface information.
They may only look like a neat little toy in the small examples online, but they're pretty freaking amazing. The level of detail and surface information that can be found astonishes. It's all based on simple digital photography techniques, and they're dedicated to making it a low cost technology that doesn't require any significant specialized knowledge. Check the whole website out; it's really good.