Shown above is the Pro3 Acceleration Kit. Image courtesy – Matterport.
As a service provider, we’re excited about this hardware launch because it has many features that we were looking forward to. For businesses, this means more accuracy in the virtual tour that is captured faster.
To Buy or Not to Buy
Cutting to the chaff, investing in a 10-lakh worth camera may not be necessary even for those in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry. You might as well outsource the scanning work to experienced technicians who do this for a living.
E57 files are more accurate in a BLK360 or a Faro Focus, to get as-built data. Then again, it depends on many factors which may influence the purchase decision. Here’s an official unboxing video:
Here are some of the highlights of the Pro3:
- LiDAR based, as opposed to Infrared in Pro2
- Detachable batteries, to enable long hours of scanning
- Type C port
- Ability to capture outdoors
- Faster scanning in terms of range
- Acceleration Kit comes with cases, tripod dolly, door stoppers and many other essentials
- Extended warranty
- Half the weight of the Pro2
What's All the Hype About?
Let’s look at some examples in industries where 3D virtual tours are commonly used in India:
Here’s a house for rent, in a gated community in the outskirts of bustling Bengaluru. The Pro2 does a decent job in terms of colour capture, however, note that the exteriors are 360° panoramas but not 3D scans. What this means is that I can’t click around the garden or terrace as I would inside the property.
The LiDAR will help with adding scan points outside the carpet area as well. This could mean something substantial in Real Estate, where home buyers or renters can have a better experience.
The above example’s dollhouse and floor plans show two separate buildings. The split property could probably be better scanned with a Pro3 due to its claimed ability to function in direct sunlight. In the hospitality sector, intense planning is required to ensure no guests or staff are walking around. With the Pro3’s range, the entire process could be faster.
We do not have hands-on experience with the Pro3, so the above advantages are possibilities and not guaranteed right now. Importing a Class 1 LiDAR device requires a number of certifications from Indian agencies, so it could take a while to buy it locally.
Step on it
The Acceleration Kit has everything a Matterport technician could ask for. Similar to the Mission Kit in the Leica BLK360 G2, it helps us help businesses get more work done faster. Note that the G2 is currently not compatible with the Matterport platform.
Let’s say a factory wants their space scanned when the workers are off duty. Assuming the flooring is not too uneven, the tripod dolly could help move the scanner easily to the next point. The same goes for showrooms and the retail sector.
As of now, we can’t talk more about how the presentation would be for villa plots or farm lands. We do not have recommendations for drones either, although quite a few indigenous manufacturers are coming up with quality devices.
So What Else is New?
There are plenty of new software features in Matterport, such as a Guided Tour, instead of Highlight Reels. Now, you could add Titles and Descriptions to give an overview of the scene being played automatically. If you can’t wait until the Pro3 is available, you can always pre-order the iPhone 14 Pro starting at 1.5 lakhs.
You can use the new iPhone Pro with the Axis mount to capture 3D tours without having to invest in expensive, bulky and sensitive professional scanners. Apple and Matterport are the best at explaining their own products – learn more on their web pages. Our unofficial article is to simply give an overview to our clients.
As ex-employees of Yahoo, we are fans of the purple colour shown above. Some relevant highlights:
- A16 Bionic chip
- Quad Pixel sensor
- 48 MP main camera
- 4K HDR at 24 fps
- Efficiency tweaks for extended battery life
- Ceramic coated display
- Sapphire crystal lens cover
- ProRAW and ProRes
- LiDAR scanner
By next month, India should have 5G, at least in a few cities. You can open Matterport URLs faster and navigate to scan points easily. If not at an IMAX theatre, imagine watching supersonic scenes from Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick in a mobile device. Brushing away lockdown blues, this sequel is the highest grossing movie of 2022 at 1.5 billion.