Are Matterport cameras LiDAR scanners?
In a word, yes, if you are talking about the Pro3 model. But there is more to it. A Matterport scanner is a type of 3D scanning device that is used to create digital representations of real-world spaces.
It uses a combination of advanced sensors and sophisticated algorithms to capture detailed 3D images of a space, which can then create immersive virtual tours that allow users to explore and experience a virtual space as if they were physically present.
But, before jumping into Matterport-specific technology, it is first essential to understand LiDAR technology.
What is a LiDAR Scanner?
A lidar scanner is a type of remote sensing technology that uses lasers to measure distances to the surface of objects. This allows the lidar scanner to create a high-resolution, 3D map of the surrounding environment.
Lidar scanners are commonly used in self-driving cars, robotics, and aerial surveying applications. For this article, we are explicitly looking at tripod-mounted terrestrial scanners.
Lidar is an acronym for "light detection and ranging.” The technology works by emitting laser pulses and measuring the time it takes for the pulses to bounce back from the objects in the environment. By analyzing the time delay, the lidar scanner can determine the distance to the objects and their shape and location.
One of the key advantages of lidar technology is its ability to provide high-resolution, 3D data even in challenging environments. Lidar scanners can operate in various conditions, including darkness, fog, and rain, provided the camera is rated for such situations.
Despite its many benefits, lidar technology is not without limitations. Lidar is a line-of-sight capture technology, so it can be affected by obstacles such as trees and buildings, which can block or reflect the laser pulses, leading to inaccurate measurements.
Matterport LiDAR Scanners
Matterport scanners are typically used in various applications, such as real estate, construction, and event planning. For example, real estate agents can use a Matterport scanner to create virtual tours of properties that potential buyers can view. This can be especially useful for properties in remote areas or are difficult to access, as it allows buyers to explore the property without visiting it physically.
The Matterport Pro3 LiDAR Scanner
Previous models of Matterport cameras were outfitted with high-definition cameras and an infrared sensor. This configuration was exemplary for small, indoor, confined spaces. But the Matterport series received a serious upgrade with the release of the Pro3 LiDAR scanner in late 2022.
The Matterport Pro3 is a genuine laser scanner. This makes it a fantastic tool for scanning large spaces outdoors and in other challenging lighting conditions. The accuracy of the Pro3 is rated for 20mm at a 10-meter range. Though there are more accurate LiDAR scanners, it is hard to beat the price - $5,995 for the Pro3.
Matterport Benefits to AEC
Architects, engineers, and construction firms can also benefit from using a Matterport scanner. By capturing detailed 3D images of a construction site, they can create virtual models that can be used to plan and manage the construction process.
This can help improve communication and coordination among different teams and identify and resolve potential issues before they become significant problems. And having access to a complete 3D model as a source of truth is instrumental in projecting success. Teams stay updated, and outside contractors get a clear picture of the site and what needs to be done.
In addition to its practical applications related to real estate and AEC, a Matterport scanner can also be used for entertainment and educational purposes. For example, museums and galleries can use a Matterport scanner to create virtual tours of their exhibits, which visitors from anywhere in the world can access. This can provide a more immersive and engaging experience for visitors and make it possible for people unable to visit the museum to explore its exhibits physically.
Overall, a Matterport Pro3 LiDAR scanner is a powerful and versatile tool for various applications. Its ability to capture detailed 3D images of real-world spaces makes it ideal for creating virtual tours, planning and managing construction projects, and providing immersive experiences for visitors.
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