The Evolution of LiDAR Sensors in Reality Capture: Empowering easy As-Built Records and AI in Construction

John Dutton
Jun 13, 2023

In recent years, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology has played a pivotal role in reality capture, and now that a LiDAR sensor has been added to iPhones, iPads and even the Apple Vision Pro, 3D scanning is destined to become more frequent, more accurate, and much easier.

This remarkable sensor technology has transformed the way we perceive our surroundings and holds immense potential for various industries such as AEC. In this blog post, we will explore the evolution of LiDAR sensors, its impact on reality capture, and the role of AI in Construction, including for applications such as as-built documentation.

The Power of LiDAR Sensors in Reality Capture:
LiDAR sensors are known for their accuracy and ability to perceive depth. Integrated into devices like the iPhone, they enable augmented reality experiences and improved photography capabilities. Industries such as architecture, construction, and engineering leverage 3D point cloud scanners to capture detailed representations of physical spaces, allowing for better job-site documentation and improved understanding of site conditions.

Shrinking Size: Portable Reality Capture Solutions:

With the miniaturization of LiDAR sensors, Apple has revolutionized reality capture by democratizing the accessibility of reality capture. For the first time ever, anyone can engage in 3D scanning without the need for prior knowledge or training. The portable nature of these devices enables professionals to carry the power of reality capture capabilities wherever they go, simplifying on-site data acquisition. This advancement has brought convenience and efficiency to various industries, empowering them to effortlessly capture accurate 3D point clouds. Now, individuals from diverse backgrounds can easily engage with reality capture, opening up a world of possibilities for architects, designers, engineers, and enthusiasts alike. Apple's integration of LiDAR technology in their Pro Series devices has transformed the landscape of reality capture, making it more accessible and user-friendly than ever before.

Efficiency Improvements: Streamlining Point Cloud Processing:
Advancements in LiDAR technology have led to improved efficiency, including faster scanning speeds and increased data acquisition rates. These efficiency improvements streamline the generation of 3D point clouds, reducing post-processing time and enhancing analysis capabilities. With faster data processing, reality capture software becomes more effective in handling large-scale projects. That's where we come in. At Manifold, we want to take all the friction out of point cloud processing. We automatically register all point cloud data in the cloud, so that you can make a comprehensive digital twin in as little as 20 minutes.

AI in Construction: Enhancing Reality Capture and As-Built Documentation:
The integration of AI in Construction is changing the industry rapidly and LiDAR sensors play a crucial role in this transformation. AI algorithms can now process vast amounts of data captured through LiDAR, automating feature extraction, object recognition, and defect detection. This integration enhances the accuracy and efficiency of reality capture and enables comprehensive as-built documentation. By leveraging AI-powered algorithms, the construction industry benefits from improved project management, precise measurements, and effective clash detection.

Applications of Reality Capture Software in Construction:
Reality capture software, driven by LiDAR technology, finds diverse applications in the construction industry. It enables efficient as-built documentation, allowing project stakeholders to capture accurate representations of existing structures. Furthermore, reality capture facilitates real-time progress monitoring, quality control, and clash detection, promoting effective coordination and reducing costly errors during construction projects.