1. This past year has seen the emergence of two disruptions in the 3D Scanning LiDAR market.
2. FARO’s Focus 3D LiDAR Scanner is a low-end disruptive entrant to the stationary 3D scanning market.
3. The PrimeSense 3D Sensor is a non-traditional LiDAR delivering unique value to a new market. It is already being adapted for real-time robotic navigation and could latently disrupt the 3D scanning LiDAR market.
4. These disruptions pose challenges for incumbents. However, they also yield benefits that should be enjoyed by service providers and end users in the years ahead and continued healthy growth of market applications.
As LiDAR zealots, we like to think of LiDAR as an innovative and disruptive technology. Our perspective is that LiDAR disrupts other technologies or the status quo. But what happens when LiDAR itself experiences disruption? That’s exactly what I see taking place with a number of recent developments in 3D scanning LiDAR markets.
In this article, I explore how two recent and award-winning innovations represent different types of disruption and should have serious implications within LiDAR markets in the years ahead. I describe the forces at play and what I think will take place as these fluid market situations evolve. The first disruption is the Focus 3D laser scanner from FARO Technologies. The second is the 3D sensor from PrimeSense that forms the discriminating advantage for Microsoft’s Kinect gaming system.
3D Scanning LiDAR Developments and Segmentation
By way of background, let’s remind ourselves of what has been going on the 3D scanning LiDAR market since the introduction of first products in the 1990’s and integration with critical Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Manufacturers like Optech, RIEGL, Trimble, Leica Geosystems, and Airborne Hydrography AB have been continuously enhancing their product offerings. Enhancements include such features as selectable pulse repetition frequencies up to 500 kHz, sophisticated single and multi-pulse transmission and acquisition formats, dual transmit wavelengths, ‘eyesafe’ transmission wavelengths, and associated software for registration, feature identification and profile extraction.
The survey and mapping jobs are more complex while processing workflow has become more automated