Your Reality. Your Way.
Author: Monica Miller Rodgers
Hexagon’s Geosystems Division President Juergen Dold presented Your Reality. Your Way. at Hexagon’s premier cross-industry technology conference 13 June at the Venetian Ballroom in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Focusing on the Reality Economy, Dold led his keynote address with a “digital first” approach. Dissecting the pervasive and rapid shift in the world’s digital landscape, Dold shared use cases from around the world on how technology is disrupting industry dynamics, economic fundamentals, and what it means to compete. He explained how to sustain a competitive advantage, to meet greatest potential, and why professionals need a data-driven approach that is unique to each individual. A smart digital reality, Dold said, is imperative to success, requiring one that is relevant, accessible, and in whatever format needed by the specific user.
Your Reality Check
“Your reality check is about the change you shape,” Dold stated at the beginning of his keynote. He elaborated on how we all need reality checks from those closest to us to keep us on track.
If we don’t surround ourselves with those of differing opinions, we miss seeing the whole picture. To create more efficient and better realities, Dold encouraged the audience to embrace the possibilities of reality checks, regardless of how challenging they may be to take.
What is the Reality Economy?
An economy is defined as a network of producers, distributors and consumers of products and services in local and global communities. If the products and services are smart digital realities, then you have the Reality Economy.
“Connecting the digital reality with intelligence; connecting the digital reality with everyone and everything – that creates smart digital realities,” said Dold. “And, there is a big shift in our industry … that ultimately leads to autonomous operations and fosters the adoption of autonomous mobility … ”
Smart digital realities, the currency of the Reality Economy, ultimately enable digital transformation, which is what happens when technologies change the conditions under which business is done. According to Dold, there are three ways for organisations to handle digital transformation:
- Drive it
- Participate in it
- Ignore it
He cautioned that businesses who take option three do so at their own peril as they will be left behind. Companies that take options one and two must then operate by one certain rule – Your reality. Your way.
The rules of the Reality Economy
Whether you’re an operator who needs to understand your plant, a surveyor who is measuring a bridge, or a police officer working on a crime scene, you need a smart digital reality that is unique to you.
Your smart digital reality should always have three attributes:
- Digital first where the physical world is fused with the digital world.
- Innately intelligent to be empowered by intelligence everywhere, including the edge.
- Infinitely connected to everyone and everything to drive autonomous operations.
Throughout the rest of his keynote, Dold provided examples of how Hexagon is driving each attribute and how customers around the globe are adopting the technology in each step.
With highly sophisticated airborne solutions, such as the Leica SPL100 single photon LiDAR and Leica CityMapper hybrid sensors, entire countries, states and cities are being more easily and accurately mapped. From capturing the dense rain forests of Hawaii to creating city models of major urban areas, the digital data from this exclusive technology is being made available to all. Deploying a fleet of sensors through content partners, this processed information is readily accessible in the HxGN Content Program.
“Our ultimate goal is to democratise the 3D city data through an ecosystem where multiple industry partners are working together to make this an affordable product for every city in the U.S. and going from there abroad,” said Dold.
With mobile mapping and ground penetrating radar solutions, such as the Leica Geosystems Pegasus line, cities and their assets above and below ground can now be analysed in a 360-degree view. By digitising these assets, urban planners, city managers and other public officials can work in a connected ecosystem to provide improved maintenance and other more efficient city operations.
An explosion of curiosity has taken place around democratised laser scanning technology found with the Leica BLK360 imaging laser scanner. From the real estate industry providing augmented reality property tours to researchers better understanding the dimensions of caves, this curiosity has given way to demand. Digital first here has become digital everywhere. Consider small businesses, such as a rock wall climbing facility, that use the technology to provide better experiences for customers to larger firms, like a yacht manufacturer, that have incorporated the technology into workflows for more efficiency.
“With a digital first approach, everything is being digitised with highly sophisticated solutions and democratisng solutions that bring 3D to everyone to create demand,” said Dold.
Intelligent solutions enhance ecosystems and improve how work is completed. Brought forth with edge computing, intelligence is now real-time processing at the point where data is being captured.
“We are rethinking better ways to work by making our solutions think, process and connect much earlier at the edge,” explained Dold.
In safety, Dold used the example of landslides. Around 5,400 people each year are killed in rock falls and landslides. Using interferometric radar solutions by IDS GeoRadar, the first signs of a rock fall or landslide are instantly monitored and reported. This early warning alerts the proper authorities to clear areas quickly and can potentially save lives.
As Dold first walked onto the stage, he wore a backpack. Raising the curiosity of the audience, he now went over to retrieve the backpack and reveal its contents. The first item he withdrew was the new Leica BLK3D handheld imager. As he continued to demonstrate the new technology, he explained how the BLK3D takes users beyond the visible by allowing 3D measurements directly on a 2D image.
“With the BLK3D, we have again created a new category of 3D reality capture to democratise digital reality for everyone, and again I say if everyone works digital, nothing would be done without digital processes,” said Dold. “It’s another approach to your reality, your way.”
Retrieving the second item, Dold revealed the Leica RTC360 3D laser scanner and Cyclone Field 360 mobile app. He explained the power of scanning through many features of the fast laser scanner, such as 2 million points per second and less than two minutes for full-dome scanning.
“The RTC360 is innately intelligent because it is a ‘seeing machine,’” said Dold. “This is built-in visual inertial technology at the edge in the sensor. The cumbersome, time-consuming and sometimes prohibitive post processing is gone. It’s nearly invisible. It’s automatic.”
When all the data from different sources connect, they become an ecosystem for the basis of smart digital realities. The information contained within becomes applicable, accessible and interoperable. Users can share the intelligence and analysis throughout their local ecosystems or with external parties.
With Geosystems’ sophisticated software, such as Leica Infinity surveying software that provides the bridge from the field to the office, these various data sources are now brought into a single and simple interface. Bringing together total station, GNSS and, for the first time, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data, users receive their own unique and accurate digital reality to operate within and successfully complete their projects.
Introducing the acquisition of AGTEK, a leading software solutions provider to the civil construction industry, to the audience, Dold shared the example of the connected ecosystem created on a construction site. Applying analytics to a reality capture map of a construction project, a machine operator can automatically see where to further cut or add dirt for smooth roads and rides.
Finally, Dold shared the modelling of USA cities Denver and San Francisco to demonstrate the sharing of information in a connected ecosystem. From insurance assessments to flood risk analysis, the digitising of city assets enables city planners and other authorities to make better informed decisions with information supplied by more in-depth understanding of the cities’ makeup.
With the acquisition of Luciad, a leading provider of 5D visualisation and analysis solutions, the city modelling is moving from 3D to 5D. Seeing all the data into one platform, a photo-realistic city model, switching from airborne-sensor-collected point clouds to mobile-mapping-captured imagery or laser-scanner-gathered terrestrial point clouds, provides 3D information for the clearest and most detailed information.
“We invent technologies to create digital realities with the highest efficiencies,” said Dold. “We invest in connected ecosystems … to bring all 3D together for limitless possibilities to use the data. These ecosystems will be developed over the coming years, so all disciplines will be using these city models.”
Changing how business is done
To wrap up his keynote, Dold shared his vision for not just creating smart digital realities but moving ahead to sharing them.
“The technology is there. Now we need to evangelise and bring this information to the end user,” explained Dold. “We are on the path to create solutions to fuse and share this mass data to a single solution … Being part of this Reality Economy is more than just creating a digital replica of a physical world; it is connecting everything with everyone, and, the openness for a sharing economy for autonomous connected ecosystems.”
Dold encouraged the audience to be the “rule setters” for the Reality Economy, continuing to use the technology and providing valuable reality checks back to Hexagon. Though he admitted the feedback could be challenging, he empathised the excitement to be leading technology in this era. He left the crowd with three actions:
- Demand and embrace your reality, your way.
- Expand the Reality Economy and support, not fear, the democratisation of technology.
- Imagine the next experience and focus on how technology can be better.
“We need to constantly be pushing ourselves to move further. Demand for reality is growing exponentially, and there is great opportunity here,” said Dold. “Together, we are shaping the future.”