The Big Leap
After 4 exciting and engaging days at HxGN LIVE 2018, I find it is important to take some time to reflect on what we have seen, what we have learnt, and how that can help us going forwards. We are now into the 8th year of HxGN LIVE, and each new edition sees us take exciting steps forwards, not just in terms of the technology demonstrated, but also in relation to the high-quality content presented and the ever-increasing production levels of the event itself. During Ola Rollén’s General Session Keynote on Day 1, the audience was challenged: Are we ready for a Big Leap in terms of technology? Will we be the disrupted or the disruptor? These are important themes that would be revisited over the next 3 days, but also reflect on my experiences at HxGN Live since 2011: every year I have seen us take a Big Leap, and every year I have seen us present genuinely disruptive technology that will help shape smart change for our customers worldwide. HxGN LIVE 2018 was no exception, and we saw a number of hugely exciting and disruptive solutions released ahead of, or during the conference.
Your Reality. Your Way.
I took my seat in the Venetian Ballroom on day 2 to watch Juergen Dold present the Geosystems Keynote, and it was during this session that the concept of the Reality Economy was introduced, and it seemed to be a topic that the audience already understood the importance of. The advancement of 3D laser scanning or Reality Capture has been phenomenal over the previous 20 years. Changes in performance, size, scale, and affordability have meant that the technology is growing in adoption faster than ever and has created a whole new Economy surrounding it. Reality is the currency of this new economy, but it is important to understand that Reality Capture will mean something different for each industry or customer. Users require a Digital Reality that is relevant, accessible, and in whatever format they need. As proposed by Juergen, this is Your Reality. Your Way.
In 2016, Leica Geosystems announced the highly disruptive Leica BLK360 – the smallest and lightest imaging laser scanner available. This release was a huge step in the democratisation of the Reality Capture industry: its ease of use combined with an attractive price allowed non-traditional potential users and new entrants to the market to begin access such technology. After introducing the concept of the Reality Economy, Juergen announced the next exciting step in the BLK story. The Leica BLK3D is an industry-first solution that captures images and immediately places precise 3D measurements directly on the image.
By combining measurement sensors, software, and on-device edge data processing capabilities, the Leica BLK3D enables in-picture measurements with professional-grade accuracy. Every image captured by the Leica BLK3D is a complete and precise 3D record. Its edge capabilities eliminate the need for network connections and/or cloud services, ensuring professionals can make faster decisions within their daily workflow – whether creating floor plans and estimating building installations or documenting construction progress and creating as-built facility documentation.
I strongly believe that the Leica BLK3D is a revolutionary solution and will help to bring Reality Capture to an even wider audience. It is designed to be very easy to operate, making it accessible to a wide range of users such as architects, builders, site managers, civil engineers, window fitters and more.
Leica RTC360 – A Gamechanger for BIM and Forensics Professionals
Juergen waited until the end of his keynote to introduce the product I am most excited about, and my excitement seemed to be shared by all sat around me. The new Leica RTC360 Reality Capture Solution combines high-performance laser scanning, edge computing, and mobile app technologies to pre-register captured scans quickly and accurately. With the push of a button, two million points per second of High Dynamic Range (HDR) imagery can be captured to create a full-dome scan in under two minutes, reducing time spent on site. Laser scanner movements between setup positions are automatically tracked by a Visual Inertial System (VIS) while scans are combined and pre-registered on a mobile device, where they can be viewed and augmented with information tags – again saving precious time and speeding up decision-making right from the field.
In recent years, the introduction of sophisticated 3D modelling and BIM has opened the eyes of designers and constructors alike to the opportunities that technology can offer, improving productivity, increasing accuracy and reducing costs. The move from 2D to 3D has helped the industry to become more profitable, productive, and better organised.
I already see huge potential for the Leica RTC360 within Digital Construction and BIM applications. Its speed, size and superior data quality can assist in spotting construction errors and to help create detailed as-built plans.
Similarly, in the world of forensics and public safety, the Leica RTC360 will greatly reduce the learning curve for those new to scanning and will decrease time spent on site scanning. In forensics or publics safety, 3D Reality Capture is a process of scanning and capturing a crime scene, crash, environment or public event in a digital 3D model, combining measurement and imagery to provide a detailed, accurate and complete electronic copy of the space. With the ability to analyse, fly-though, zoom-in, measure and annotate imagery, 3D Reality Capture offers an accessible technology that anyone can use.
I believe users in these fields strive for the most efficient way to capture their environment without compromising on quality or accuracy, and I believe the RTC360 delivers this whether gathering highly accurate evidence to be used for a trial, or when working under pressure to clear a crash scene as quickly as possible.
I have met many customers in my 8 years visiting HxGN LIVE, and I am always amazed at the creative and highly effective ways our solutions are used worldwide. I am confident that our latest Reality Capture solutions can help many new and existing users to take the next ‘Big Leap’ and to be disruptors in their industry. As Juergen Dold stated during his keynote, “The Leica Geosystems RTC360 Reality Capture Solution empowers professionals to pursue complex jobs.”
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at HxGN LIVE 2019 and learning about the many complex problems you have solved using our solutions.
Executive Vice President
Mark Concannon is Executive Vice President for Hexagon Geosystems, with direct responsibility for group sales regions in Emerging EMEA and ASIA.