3. New sensors are starting to attract attention
At this year’s conference I saw a strong showing for photogrammetry applications (like ContextCapture, and Stockpile Reports) that create 3D imagery from prosumer digital cameras and even smartphones. Even NCTech got in the game, too with their iSTAR 360° camera, offering users the ability to take measurements straight from the spherical images they capture.
SPAR 3D also showed hints that we might move beyond our intense focus on 3D data to the exclusion of other kinds of data. Both Leica and FARO made big moves this year to incorporate HDR cameras into their static LiDAR packages. Simply put, these cameras (like Spheron’s bonkers SpheronLite solution) capture images with a very high dynamic range. In these images, a dark area will be as clear in the shot as a very, very bright area. Laid over a point cloud captured by a traditional scanner, they help produce a photo-realistic deliverable that combines all the benefits of high-def photography and 3D scanning. It helps bring 3D capture to the next level as a visualization tool.
More than one presentation showed that we’re starting to think of 3D data as a base for light sensors like HDR cameras, but also pressure sensors, infrared sensors, even concrete curing sensors, among others.