The Power is in Your Hands

The Democratization of 3D Scanning

Put the power of 3D into everyone’s hands

From CAD to photogrammetry to LiDAR, engineers of all disciplines acquire, process, and share 3D data on a daily basis. Historically, the creation of this 3D data has been the purview of specialists. This has been especially true of 3D and LiDAR scanning of project sites in the field. Recent advancements in technology have made these valuable tools accessible to a much larger segment of engineers, construction specialists and field workers.

Beyond just the acquisition of 3D scans, true democratization of this data comes from the ease in which it can be organized and shared with others. Furthermore, the true power and usefulness of 3D and spatial data comes from getting it off the 2D screen and into the room as a digital twin that can be interacted with in true 1:1 scale.

Famous photographer Chase Jarvis once said, “the best camera is the one that’s with you,” and this is also true of 3D scanning. When you encounter an issue in the field, it is far more effective to communicate that issue with a 3D scan, as opposed to just a photo. This gives your colleagues the full information and context with which to help solve these issues. Having immediate access to a 3D scanner in your pocket or backpack is superior to having to bring in specialized equipment and operators to your location. The immediacy, ease of use and portability of this handheld reality capture makes it much more likely that a 3D scan will be taken. The actual existence of the data becomes the most important feature.

When Apple included LiDAR scanning capabilities into their ‘Pro’ line of iPhones and iPads, they did so with relatively little fanfare. In fact, many people own these models without even realizing they are walking around with a reality capture device. Apple left it to the software community to build functionality for the hardware. There have been several applications created to take advantage of Apple’s LiDAR, from simple (ex: room measurement) to more complex (ex: 3D scanning). Most of these applications share the same problems as many photo capture apps: no intuitive way to organize the data, and no powerful way to share and collaborate with others. Data and image capture applications that rely on linear storage (such as camera rolls or folders) or standard sharing tools (ex: text or email) fail to give their users the organizational power and collaborative ease-of-use that would make them go-to tools in the field or worksite.

Clirio’s solution takes advantage of Apple’s technological leap and adds innovative organization and sharing capabilities that provide a powerful end-to-end solution for teams who work in the field. When you start to take observations in the field or at the worksite (such as photos, notes, sketches, or 3D scans), all your observations are immediately georeferenced to a map of your project area and automatically synced to team members via a private cloud workspace. No worries if you are at a remote location. Clirio has an “offline mode” that allows you to collect observations to your device until you are back to an internet connection.

Later, you can quickly and easily access your site observations at any time by “walking the site” via the virtual map to recall data based on location. This map can be viewed as a standard 2D map on your handheld device or projected into the room as a 3D map via augmented or mixed reality. Those looking for more project-specific context can import detailed GIS maps to act as a base for their observation pins. Additionally, other project spatial data can be incorporated into the map. Scans from other sources (ex: photogrammetry drone scans) can be georeferenced to the map, along with CAD structures. A truly unique feature to Clirio is our ability to incorporate subsurface data as well. Borehole and geophysics logs can be imported and will be displayed as interactive 3D elements.

In this way, we naturally develop a digital twin of our project area by combining all its existing spatial data, and then using that as a basemap for capturing new 3D scans and other observations in the field. This creates a living collection of site documentation that grows with significance and relevance as the project evolves.

Clirio really shines when it comes to sharing and collaboration of your project’s spatial data. This starts with simply inviting a colleague or client to your project workspace via email. Others can join and view your project with a free version of the software. Teammates can contribute to the workspace with their own observations from the site. From there, you can host a virtual meeting. Virtual meetings allow participants to meet around the 3D data in the metaverse for a truly immersive experience. Members of the meeting can be anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Participants see a holographic representation of the 3D data in their space, up to 1:1 scale. They also see icon avatars of the other participants and can communicate, annotate, and measure project details in virtual space. For technical experts, this allows them to see all the spatial data referenced together, showing details and relationships they may have otherwise missed. For non-technical stakeholders, they gain an understanding of complex projects in a way that is not possible with 2D drawings and spreadsheets.

These meetings can take place in augmented reality (AR) on iPhones or iPads, in virtual reality (VR) on the Oculus Quest 2, or in mixed reality (MR) on the Microsoft HoloLens.

Get Started for Free Today

Clirio View and Scan apps are free to download from the App Store, and a free account can be created at www.clir.io/pricing. We encourage everyone to get started today to see how powerful 3D capture, organization and sharing can be when it is accessible to all.

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