EyesMap: Mobile Measurement and 3D Scanning Device
Mobile measurement and 3D scanning is an area witnessing rapid growth in the consumer market. It is a technology based on making measurements from photographs. This photogrammetry is something has been around for a surprisingly long time, but it is only now that we are seeing the emergence of hand-held systems capable of outputting 3D environmental models in real time.
One such device is EyesMap, a measurement and modeling instrument aimed initially at engineering and surveying disciplines. Developed by Spanish company E-Capture R&D, EyesMap uses computational vision techniques blended with photogrammetry, precision sensor fine-tuning, visual odometer and other advanced images measuring techniques to create a field tool with profound implications.
The result is a tablet-contained system running Intel's i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM. It has two rear Sony FCB MA130 cameras of 13 megapixels each to maximize resolution. It processes this visual input with projector and GPS-GNSS systems that function as depth and positional sensors. It can scan advanced photogrammetric pictures with up to four million points in under two minutes. This hardware combines with proprietary software and large memory to convert images on the fly into accurate 3D models, this can then be dropped into modeling environments and used in many ways.
This is equipment to change the way work is conducted most obviously in archeology, engineering, surveying, civil engineers, topographers... but also throughout medicine, biology, sport, environmental and criminology.
Pedro Ortiz Coder of E-Capture R&D, said, "For me, creating EyesMap has been a dream constructed through hours and hours of work. Many times we thought that it couldn't done and we would stop for a day, but always we would continue and now we are finished and extremely happy with the product."
Photogrammetry until now has generally been used in planes and from vehicles that can carry all the separate equipment needed to make it work. It's possible to use multiple standalone instruments in combination to achieve the same result - 3D scanners, telemeters, photogrammetry software - but generally the devices are not portable and the data they produce has to be processed separately, which raises the possibility of mistakes, and they have to be tuned to a particular range.
Where the EyesMap represents a leap is in combining hardware and software and interfacing between the two in real-time to rapidly generate usable 3D models in the field. This is a process that might previously taken months and mission-crept across visual and computational disciplines to make computer scientists of the, say, archeologists on a dig. This is tech to free professionals from assistants and technicians and equipment and ultimately from field work being a hugely expensive undertaking. This allows the archeologist to practically work alone, to focus on the archeological aspects of their job rather than the technological and to achieve accurate and usable, communicable digital representations of the field.
Nick Waple, Product Marketing Specialist at Sony Image Sensing Solutions Europe said of the EyesMap, "It's exciting for us to see Sony's FCB MA130 being used in emerging technologies. The EyesMap is an amazing product and I look forward to seeing its use evolve in the field."
As well as site work (the EyesMap has a range of 70 meters), it can measure on a small, close scale (biologists, zoologists and manufacturers who require accurate digital models of objects). It can also track motion, which brings with it a fresh set of applications. The way in which people move is important in for instance sport and entertainment.
EyesMap is leading the charge in this new wave of revolutionary measurement and visualisation tools. It ships in early 2015.