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Reality Capture tools – Express scanning for the AEC industry  


The AEC industry relies heavily on accurate data and precise measurements of physical elements. Developments in reality capture tools like LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and Photogrammetry have enabled faster and more accurate data collection

In this article, we’ll discuss how reality capture tools have enabled AEC professionals to scan even the most complex structures with high speed and accuracy!

What is reality capture?

Reality capture is a process of generating a virtual representation of a physical object, space, or environment using specialized technology. 

LiDAR, photogrammetry, laser scanning, and 360-degree cameras are tools used to scan physical spaces, collect data, and create 3D models. This technology is used in various industries, including AEC, film, and gaming, among others, changing the way we interact with the physical world, and enabling professionals to generate accurate and detailed digital representations of real-world objects and environments.

Scanning physical spaces is different than it used to be!

Traditional scanning methods involved the collection of data manually. While this method worked for a long time, it had its limitations. It was labor-intensive, time-consuming, and required a specific set of resources and skills. Not to forget, this method was error prone as well!

It was time to evolve. Developments in laser technology, drones, and computer algorithms provided a boost for reality capture tools and their use in different industries, especially AEC. It completely changed the way real-world structures and environments were captured. These tools offered a faster, more accurate, and more efficient way to collect millions of data points, giving a precise digital representation of the physical world. 

LiDAR uses laser pulses to create highly detailed 3D maps of an environment, while photogrammetry uses photographs taken from different angles to create accurate 3D models. UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are also becoming an increasingly popular tool for reality capture. They can collect data from difficult-to-reach or hazardous locations. 

With the help of these technologies, reality capture has become an essential tool in various industries such as architecture, engineering, and construction, where it is used to capture precise measurements, analyze structures, and create highly realistic digital models.

Further developments in reality capture

Technology continues to surprise us with its capabilities. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of researchers, engineers, and developers, today’s smartphones are fitted with LiDAR sensors and are capable of scanning physical spaces and 3D models.

Top 5 3D Scanning Apps for Architects – Android + iOS

AI is also emerging as an industrial disruptor all over the world. It has massive potential to bolster the AEC industry with its transformative capabilities, enabling better decision-making, and enhancing the user experience.

Growth of AI in Construction – Creating safer, optimized build environments

FARO’s new Hybrid Reality Capture solution 

FARO, a leader in developing reality capture, recently released Hybrid Reality Capture. It’s a new more for Focus Premium Laser Scanner users that can “improve scanning speeds by up to 100 percent,” thanks to FARO’s new Flash Technology which will allow users to complete a scan in just 30 seconds. According to the company’s press release, the Hybrid Reality Capture solution “is targeted towards large-volume projects and promises faster scanning speeds without sacrificing accuracy.” The company has developed new algorithms that will deliver crisp 3D models with all collected points.

Following the announcement, FARO President and CEO Michael Burger said “Hybrid Reality Capture is a best-of-both-worlds innovation that will improve on-site productivity and deliver state-of-the-art colorized visual clarity at a highly affordable price. Industries that have made tradeoffs between capturing 3D data accurately or quickly have been waiting for this hybrid solution and we are excited to bring it to our markets.”

Hybrid Capture Reality will be available as an add-on subscription in the Stream mobile app.

Reality capture tools are emerging as a standard practice for scanning, surveying, and inspections, within the AEC industry. As tech firms continue to collaborate and develop more tools, the future looks promising. The industry is now prioritizing sustainability and efficiency, not just in costs but in operations as well, and reality capture will play a crucial role in it. 

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