Posts Tagged scanner

3D Capture and Use : Not even at the Pong Level…..Yet

tsp-pong

We are still at the bleeding edge of the 3D capture technology.  Even though LIDAR has been around since the early 60’s, commercialization of it remains small.   Its projected market for  2018 is $515 million.  What does that tell me?  That’s ridiculously low.  For perspective Facebook’s market cap is around $200b,  EA Sports, the game producer for ubiquitous gaming technology is around $12b. Those are single companies not an industry.  The total market for LIDAR, that is 3D capture of real objects is going to be $515M in 2018.  Something else needs to happen to bring 3D to the main stream, and what’s happening now is the introduction of light weight inexpensive 3D sensors from a who’s who of technology companies.  A partial list and by no means exhaustive.

And from the way back machine:

Pong, the granddaddy of all video games was arguably the first commercial/consumer success of the gamification of a piece of hardware and its enveloping logic,  in the case of pong it was TTL (Transistor – Transistor Logic ).   So what’s important to note here is the players now involved in the introduction.  Intel, Google, Microsoft, Apple……..  We have the introduction of the hardware and their SDK packs for developers. The next stage will be most interestin; .the software, the games, the apps, the big easy. The other  technology beyond these new sensors and LIDAR in most use;   photographs.  Right now I see in the market a lot of people taking pictures of statues or people, turning them into a 3D Digital object and then maybe printing them out on a 3D printer,  I don’t see that as a viable business model, personally I don’t want a 3D printed object of anyone I know and to me it borders on ventriloquist dummy creepiness.  However, we need to go through these stages to get to whatever breakthroughs and or commercial successes there will be in the future.

3D printing is moving rapidly, if not into the mainstream, into real uses.  The 3D printing market is estimated to be $16.2 billion in 2018 comapred to $2.5 billion in 2013.    That is 30x the expected LIDAR market.  Why?  Companies are printing machine parts (cars, airplanes, etc.) there is movement toward biological printing of food/meat and body parts.  So really the mass customization of things where before making one of anything could cost thousands of dollars.  I recall prototyping parts through CNC machining or SLA cost at a minimum hundreds of dollars and for bigger parts easily thousands and up.  At back to school night this year they had amakerbot set up in the High School lobby and would print out key chains with your initials for a $5 donation.  Holy What? Really?  How about 3D printing a partial titanium skull to help someone after the original was smashed in an accident.  But 5 bucks for a custom printed 3D object?

So what’s the next step in the 3D scanning world now that people can start getting them in their hands for hundreds of dollars, opposed the LIDAR systems that start around $50K.  You and your friends scan your house and drop it in as a map pack for Call of Duty.  3D virtual tours of the Louvre.  3D estimating of car damage…….I’m really not sure but I am sure there will be plenty of people working on it.  Making the capture and use of 3D easy, that will be the magic trick.  Why you might want to is a bigger question.  What do I need 3D data for?  For real estate?  Who is ever going to buy something without physically seeing it.  To quote a commercial broker when I was doing some biz dev, “I get them in the car and show it to them…” Remember the broker business is intensely personal so A) they want technology to help them not replace them and B) I am not sure having great 3D imagery is going to sell it.  Maybe as part of the tenant fit out allowance they get 3D Design services, or as part of the negotiation you show them what it could look like with their allowance…..I would be really interested in what people think about this subject beyond it’s cool.

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For something cool, check out the video posted for Mok3 above, Yonald and his cohorts had figured out a way in 2003 to take pictures and turn them into 3D environments., the world is still catching up.

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Handheld Scanning for Architecture Gets Real….Google Enters The Picture

project-tango-google-mapping-outThe jigsaw pieces are starting to fill in with google’s Project Tango , and the structure.io sensor.  Capturing existing buildings has never been an easy task, as much as the purveyors of existing scanners would like you to believe otherwise.  Current laser scanners are expensive and the process was usually too much, too much effort, too much expense for most projects.  Additionally, since the entry price was so expensive and each scanner has its own proprietary software, lack of open standards slowed innovation; but here comes handheld devices starting at around $400, and an open source universe that lets a universe of people to start working on current problems. Paracosm working with Project Tango looks like it has come up with a crowd sourced platform to put together fuller models of buildings from multiple people/scanners.

From the videos and data, and although everyone admits it’s early.  A regular Joe can walk with a handheld scanning device and capture their world.  Allowing for the crowd sourced, user generated 3D mapping of the world.  Besides the eery feeling that the Matrix was more prophetic than fiction what can be done with all this cool stuff, what’s next?

It will be in the processing of this data and digestion of it that will make it launch to the next steps.  Typically the hurdle of laser scanning is going from scanned data, to data that people can use.  Think of scanning this stuff….cool.  To floorplans and 3D walk throughs for realtors.  So if a realtor can take a $300 handheld scanner, walk around a home or apartment, and have it simply turned into a walk through tour and dimensioned floor plans of a home, excellent. Share those floorplans with a carpet installer for a price, great.

Before scans and point clouds were expensive to attain it looks like the price is about to drop dramatically.  Dramatic price drop, easier to attain, increased supply. Increased supply, bigger market. Bigger market, more people. More people, more better.  We are just at the start.  There will be a lot of companies starting to fill in ways on how to capture and deal with this data and since the world spends about $8 trillion on construction alone there will be room for players.  You’re invited.

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We’re Going Inside : Buildings and BIM

New technologies have developed around the capture capture of existing buildings in a digital environment.  Laser Scanning comes first to mind, and now Photofly from Autodesk, however, these seem to best address the exterior of the buildings and are used in particular circumstances that warrant them.   Now comes the backpack scanner, and thanks to Erik Lewis and his blog Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad BIM for bringing it to my attention and I’ll quote him here:

“Incredible.  Between PKNail and emergent technology like this, I see a real future in gathering existing facilities information into BIM databases…”

Laser Backpack Creates Instant 3D Models

Very cool.

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