This year, Spar Conference generated a lot of excitement and optimism, buoyed by new products and advances in the field. Because there’s so much to talk about, and brevity suits us poorly, we’ll be doing an upcoming series of what the key points outlined at the Spar conference were, broken down into the following categories:
No longer just a buzzword, AR workflows and consumer products are nearing developmental maturity. Tools like 3D Laser Scanning and LiDAR mapping are providing the data needed to contextualize and implement AR environments. On the other side of the coin, AR applications are providing improved workflows and authoring abilities to make reality capture a more intuitive and streamlined process.
At this stage in the game, even the measly 5 minutes or so it takes to capture a static scan are being edged out by continuous or near-continuous workflows. Kinetic mapping utilizes IMU’s and control points to capture large spaces not quite suited for a mobile mapping setup. Mobile mapping continues to be refined and improved with revisions and upgrades to the existing systems. And the FAA approval for UAS/UAV usage seems to be gaining traction and becoming more feasible in the near future.
Point Clouds, in the Cloud
Remote facilities management and monitoring is becoming more common as data becomes smaller in size and the infrastructure for hosting and navigating point clouds rapidly improves. In addition to a CAD deliverable, for example, many companies are providing Virtual Site Access by default, as a means of giving a holistic deliverable to their end users. New releases from software such as ReCap is prompting many companies to take their point cloud data to the cloud.
Laser Scanning and BIM Standards
Industry standards are a prerequisite in order for any development to occur. Finally, two important documents are defining standards for data acquisition and deliverables. The USIBD, with their Level of Accuracy protocol, have set up a universal system to define sca
n data accuracy in the context of a RFP. The BIMForum has provided a Level of Detail standard, a means of determining the acceptable amount of detail to be found in any BIM or VDC document.
Adopt, Adapt, and Improve
Perhaps most importantly, many of the Spar Presentations would at some point circle around the issue of how to actually incorporate new technology, practices, and workflows into existing ones. Displaying brilliant new technology is one thing, but the difficulties of properly using it are often glossed over. Many of the featured talkers and companies at Spar seemed keen to prime users for a new wave of 3D Reality Capture innovation.