A CMU press release claims researchers at the CMU Robotics Institute have developed an algorithm that can automatically convert conventional 2D images into 3D representations. The process, known as geometically coherent image interpretation, was developed by Alexei Efros, Martial Hebert, and graduate student Derek Hoiem. Computer vision expert Takeo Kanade had this to say: "The amazing thing they did was show that it was actually possible. I would say it's a breakthrough." For some technical details on their approach, see their new paper, Putting Objects in Perspective (PDF format).