Be Captivated Creating the Leica Captivate Experience


People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things. –Steve Jobs

When the developers of the new Leica Captivate Experience began gathering customer feedback to create the next generation in measuring software and hardware, they kept this famous quote central to their creation process. The formation of this all-encompassing solution, including engaging software, the world’s first self-learning total stations and MultiStation along with a new controller and tablet, and the trusted service of Leica Geosystems’ customer care, is the direct result of their concentration.

Catching up with David Dixon, total station program director, and Alastair Green, field controller and software program director, they shared just how they purposely ignored 1,000 good features they could have included and focused on what was most needed and valued for the professional.

1. What is the Leica Captivate Experience?


Green: To put it simply, it’s an enjoyable and fully-immersive customer experience in using Leica Geosystems’ latest developments in measurement technology. When we were researching this new solution, we identified three areas that were the most important for customers:

1) Create a unique user experience
From basic skill level to experts who need to perform highly-technical tasks, the user interface of the new software was made for enjoyment. For example, we wanted a unique and exciting way to select the job and app to be used. With the thumbnail images in the job carousel and the app carousel we achieved this – or at least, we have so far received very positive feedback.

2) Place 3D at the heart of the concept
Following the 3D Everything, 3D Everywhere vision, where everything is all information in all the projects and everywhere is throughout the entire software in any application, data is simply and completely turned into realistic, workable 3D models. With the ability to merge the overlay of measured points, 3D models and point clouds into a single view, users can now manipulate onscreen displays to exactly create and check any worksite.

3) Improve the basics
Truly listening to our customers about what they do, how they work, what they like and what they don’t like in former software, we simplified usability with familiar touch technology and easy-to-use apps. Our customers often work all day on similar tasks, such as feature coding, linework, and staking points and lines. Keeping these fundamental elements of their jobs easy and enjoyable is very important for a positive customer experience. So intuitive is this experience, the customer already knows how to use the software before ever having to formally learn it.

2. What makes up the Leica Captivate Experience?

Dixon: Focusing on the complete customer experience, we needed to look at all components of our solution. We began with the software, which is at the centre of our users’ experience with our solution. Leica Captivate was developed with immersive technology to bring about a new experience. The new field software requires a new generation of field controllers and tablets. That is why we developed the Leica CS20 field controller and Leica CS35 field tablet. With their large displays and high performance, they provide the perfect platform for Leica Captivate. We also thought about the user experience on the total station. The best user experience when working robotically is when you forget the total station is there! To do this, we needed to develop a completely new generation of total stations and MultiStation. The Leica Nova MS60, the Nova TS60 and the Viva TS16 are the world’s first self-learning MultiStation and total stations, which thanks to ATRplus, automatically learn about the environment around them and adjust accordingly to provide dominant performance. Our focus on the customer experience also runs to our GNSS offering. Thanks to Leica Captivate and the new range of field controllers and field tablets, we have a completely new GNSS offering combining the unlimited performance with an enjoyable experience.

Green: The Leica Captivate Experience goes even beyond the core elements of engaging software, precise hardware and trusted services. This concept is putting the customer experience in the centre and building out from there. We first developed this revolutionary software for the customer and that drove the hardware activities, but the whole Leica Captivate Experience is the impression the customer forms from working with us from the initial contact with a sales representative all the way through to maintaining the equipment in the field – it’s everything. With this launch, we’re re-focusing our efforts to ensure the customer has an overall enjoyable experience with our entire company, not just the products. Our aim is that the Leica Captivate Experience significantly increases the customer’s overall perception of Leica Geosystems.

3. How does this launch change how customers perceive Leica Geosystems?

Dixon: Customers trust us for solving their problems with complete solutions of highest-quality instruments, but they don’t necessarily think of us as creating something thrilling. With the Leica Captivate Experience, I believe customers will also begin to see our ability to ‘Captivate’ them.

Green: More than ever we’ve listened to what consumers actually want. In our trials, we’ve even been told by our regional sales people just how much we’ve delivered on what the customers asked for exactly. They were literally saying “Wow!” in our product introductions. Our customers are first and foremost professionals – proud of their skills and committed to delivering reliable results. They take their work seriously and have the highest expectations of solutions that promise to solve their biggest problems. With the Leica Captivate Experience, I believe we’re even exceeding those expectations.

4. How did you identify the need for the Leica Captivate Experience?

Dixon: For a long time in the geomatics industry, we have solely focused on just solving the problems of the customer. With this launch, we wanted to do more. Our goal here is to deliver maximum customer satisfaction while meeting the need for accurate and precise measurements.

We live in the mobile, digital era where our lives are completely integrated with technology. Wherever you look today, smartphones and tablets with easy-to-use apps are in constant use. Our customers use these devices in their personal lives, and now they expect this technology to be available when it comes to their professional instruments. They also expect Leica Geosystems to deliver them innovation. With this in mind, we know the time is right for Leica Captivate.

5. Where do you foresee Leica Captivate Experience taking the geomatics industry?

Dixon: Leica Captivate is changing everything. Anything that doesn’t combine an enjoyable customer experience with the rest of the package of accuracy, precision and high performance is going to be left behind. The new generation carries our industry into a more customer-experience focus rather than a purely customer-needs focus.

Green: Leica Captivate has set a new standard not only in field software but in the overall customer experience. From now on, measurement professionals will not only expect the geomatics industry to have the most advanced technologies but for them to also be intuitively simple and seamlessly integrate into their workflows. Where across the industry software menus were once basically the same or very similar, we have now stepped it up to the next level.

David Dixon is a business director within the Leica Geosystems Geomatics Division where he oversees the product management of the total station portfolio. He has been with the company since 2001 and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying) from RMIT and a MBA from ESSEC and University of Mannheim.

David Dixon

Alastair Green is a business director within the Leica Geosystems Geomatics Division where he oversees the product management of field software and field controllers. He has been with the company since 1997 and holds a Master of Geodesy and Engineering Surveying from the University of Nottingham.

Alastair Green

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