Fusing perception and reality

Hexagon Geosystems President Jürgen Dold presented Perceptality at HxGN LIVE in Las Vegas, USA

Hexagon Geosystems President Jürgen Dold presented Perceptality at Hexagon’s annual international conference, HxGN LIVE, 14 June at the Venetian Ballroom in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

In his keynote address, Dold continued his focus on digital realities with an in-depth look at where they are going next. Pushing technology beyond its limits to make it simple and accessible for everyone, the keynote showcased projects from around the world and their innovative use of Geosystems reality capture solutions. Exploring how Hexagon customers are empowering themselves, Dold said the next level of digital realities is achieved with the inspiration and desire to pursue what is possible.


Perception + Reality = Perceptality

HxGN LIVE Keynote

To kick off the keynote, Dold elaborated on the need and power of both perception and reality.

Perception is our window to the world and is needed for the imagination of problem solving. However, it is subjective and hard to share and with that, somewhat limited. Reality is objective, based on facts, and measurable.

Alone, though, reality nor perception is enough. They need to augment one another for understanding.

"Perception and reality should not stay apart," concluded Dold. "Perception and reality should be fused."

This leads to perceptality - fusing perception and reality. Geosystems is in the business of augmenting perception with digital data to enable better decisions. This is the underlying of making the digital world real and providing a digital reality where users can "execute their brilliant visionary projects with higher quality and efficiency."


Perceptality potential in industries

Dold continued his keynote elaborating about the limitless potential of perceptality in several industries segments, such as managing the assets of utilities, cities and factories, the potential of perceptality for forensic investigators, and in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry.

For utility companies managing power grids, perceptality allows to understand whether the assets are safe. To keep the lights on for thousands of customers who depend on them, these companies need to keep track of transmission lines. As vegetation grows near and threatens these lines, digital representations enable the professionals to make more informed decisions about the protection of the power lines.

With the recent release of the Leica SPL100 Single Photon LiDAR (SPL) airborne sensor, utility assets, such as transmission lines, can be captured and managed with factors of higher efficiencies. Dold used an example of power lines captured by the SPL100 at 2.5 kilometre height at 300 km per hour speed capturing 80 points per square mile. Traditional LiDAR under the same conditions only delivered 3 points per square mile. The details able to be seen in the SPL capture were easily recognisable.

Urban planners are empowered to augment their perception of developing smart cities with the reality to make better decisions. To create accurate 3D city models for ever-growing cities, the richer the data the better the understanding.

With the Leica CityMapper hybrid airborne sensor, oblique imaging and LiDAR data are combined to create detailed city models more efficiently and with higher quality. Especially through the new LiDAR embedded technology, customers are empowered to not only increase the speed of the 3D city modelling but also to map narrow urban canyons where traditional imaging based sensor technology are blind.

For plant managers, perceptality increases safety and decreases costs. In complex industrial facilities, billions are spent to keep track of assets. If even a small mistake is made at the beginning, the entire trajectory of the project can be off schedule, creating massive costs and significant time delays. Reality capture provides a means to avoid such costly mishaps.

With the new Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360, which was launched during the keynote, plant managers can now create digital representations of their intricate plants at much shorter times and with less labour involved.

Dold used the example of CESPA, the energy company in Spain that captured its facility with the Leica ScanStation P40. Combining the design with the richly-detailed point clouds enabled CESPA to see design conflicts on the site in the office without having to travel to the facility. On average, plant managers are realising 1-2 per cent cost savings on projects with real-world savings totalling millions of dollars.

"The design only shows what was designed and not what was added later," said Dold. "To augment perception, you have to bring together the perfection of the design with the richness of the truth. Data has to be fused to reach perceptality."

For public safety professionals, perceptality ensures justice by getting to the truth. Forensic investigations must capture a scene before it is compromised or changed. Crucial evidence has to be preserved to stand up at trial. With laser scanning, these scenes can be captured and preserved intact forever.

With Leica Geosystems' Incident Mapping Suite (IMS), scenes are not compromised and evidence will be documented in court ready documents. Dold explained a particular case of a shooting where laser scanning was able to provide a clear view of where shots were fired from and how. The captured point clouds allowed public safety professionals and court officials to digitally walk through the scene and analyse the path of the bullets, clearing conflicts between officer and witness testimonies.

For AEC professionals, perceptality brings greater efficiency. Renovations that are planned incorrectly can drive repair costs up and property values down. Augmenting building renovations with digital realities sees increased cost and time savings.

With the new Leica BLK360 imaging laser scanner, a technology that was typically not used by the AEC sector before has now become accessible. Dold explained the creative process behind the BLK360 as being driven by the desire to democratise laser scanning by focusing on the creation of a simple, vibrant, connected and portable device that functions with the simple push of a button.

"We are pushing the boundaries of technology to augment perception with reality," said Dold. "We want to move beyond just industries and bring perceptality to everyone - to anyone who can push a button."


Walking the bridge

HxGN LIVE Keynote

Dold concluded the keynote by exploring these boundaries of technology. He insisted Geosystems is moving beyond the limits to think of what has not been thought of before in a new way. He recognised barriers ahead of what has yet to be discovered while also acknowledging limitations in ourselves. He encouraged the audience to walk the bridge between perception and reality, developing visionary ideas while understanding the effects of the real world.

"At Hexagon Geosystems, we are building the bridge to transform the real world into the digital reality with unique reality capture solutions. We are providing interoperability through cloud-enabled techniques to bring perceptality to countless industries," said Dold. "We are all looking for better versions - better versions of technologies, of our companies, of ourselves. We at Geosystems are also working on these better versions, and we invite you to join us on this journey to a better version of your world."

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