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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Euclideon Launches Laser Scanning Data Revolution - Geoverse Software Magic

Way back in 2011, I made a blog post about a company called Euclideon (Link) and linked a video showing their technology, Unlimited Detail Real-Time Rendering Technology Preview 2011 [HD] - YouTube 

Unlimited Detail is a technology which was secretly in development for many years. It enables computers to display infinite geometry at real time frame rates and has made many prominent appearances in the media, in magazines including New Scientist, Wired, Popular Science, Hyper, Atomic and PC Power Play amongst others. In 2010 Bruce Dell acquired investment and Euclideon Pty Ltd was formed as a company to produce the commercial SDK.
I was cleaning up some of my Evernote notes and came across some notes about Euclideon.  Well, I decided to go take a peak at their site and it was just my luck that the day before they had just announced some interesting news and a new brand launch.  

Basically, they've come up with a way to use their technology to make it easier to work with point cloud data.  One of the biggest issues we have is with the massive size of point cloud data for architecture.  Finally, there's a way to make the process more manageable.  I certainly hope that Autodesk becomes a partner of theirs.  This could change the laser scanning industry forever.

Below are a bunch of snippets from their website.  This is all brand new stuff so pay attention to this company.  

Source/Link: http://www.euclideon.com/products/geoverse/
Below are a bunch of snippets from their website

Euclideon is the only company in the world that can render unlimited quantities of point cloud data, offering truly Unlimited Detail

The benefits of using UD technology are as unlimited as the detail it can provide
• Loading times are less than a second regardless of data size; no need to commit to long loading times.
• Store your data in one place on the network or online; there is no need to copy to every computer.
• See all of your data, all at once; you don’t have to chop your data into pieces.
• Visualise data in real-time; say goodbye to lengthy offline renders.
• Communicate spatial concepts in 3D; the viewer includes unrestricted camera controls for viewing and measuring.
• Run on any computer; even entry-level laptops without dedicated graphics cards.
• Easy, user friendly “drag and drop” interface; so simple, anyone can use it.
To achieve unlimited detail required a complete rethinking of existing rendering technologies.
Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail is like nothing else on the market.
Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail technology may have started out in the gaming industry, but it is a perfect fit for real world geospatial applications.

As anyone that has used LiDAR or other point-cloud data before knows, the datasets generated are typically large, cumbersome, and difficult to visualise or work with.
• You can run and interact with models of unlimited size
• Loading times have been reduced to less than a second for any size data model
• The model can be stored in one place in your building and all can access it
• Storage compaction to between 5-20% of original .LAS size
Euclideon offers a range of products to help you get the most value from your point cloud data
The future of 3D point cloud representation is here, now. Don’t be left behind.

Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail (UD) technology is able to remove all limits surrounding the amount of 3D data that you can capture, visualise, and interact with. No longer are 3D visualisation and rendering technologies reliant on expensive, fast hardware with large amounts of RAM.

At the heart of the technology is a 3D search algorithm that can render unlimited quantities of point cloud data in real-time. As this algorithm efficiently grabs only one point for every screen pixel, it can display models of previously unimaginable sizes at interactive frame-rates, without the need for a powerful CPU or graphics card.

By removing the hardware bottleneck from the process of 3D visualisation, Euclideon has simultaneously removed any limitations on the amount of detail that a scene can contain. Imagine a 3D landscape that is large enough to stretch off to the horizon, yet where you can zoom in on individual, unique pieces of gravel scattered across the ground – all within less than a second.

These unparalleled 3D visualisation capabilities were previously thought impossible, but through questioning some fundamental principles, Euclideon has realised the unimagined.
Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail technology removes the requirement for expensive, high-end hardware when rendering 3D scenes. The hardware cost-savings are clear, but the low bandwidth, storage, and hardware requirements also open the possibility of using interactive 3D visualisations in field-based presentations; say during an emergency briefing, or when visiting a client. Further to this, streaming capabilities allow the data to reside on one computer, and be accessed by every other user in the building, or across the world via the internet.

The potential uses for this technology are limitless: precious artefacts can be scanned in for academics across the world to examine; buildings or entire landscapes can be scanned for training simulations; famous landmarks or areas can be scanned for immersive education; even patients can be scanned for remote consultation with cosmetic surgeons – UD’s strength is in its limitless potential to aid countless industries.

Why it’s better
• Data is 5-20% of the original data size; making it much easier to store and manage.
With Euclideon, laser-scanned data is smaller, faster, and more realistic.
Euclideon was able to achieve Unlimited Detail by questioning one of the fundamental principles of 3D visualisation – the use of polygons in building 3D models.
Polygons have served the world well, but they have a ‘use by’ date. As technology progresses, we are already at the point where characters or objects in 3D visualisations can have polygons that are less than 1 pixel big. At this point there is just no reason to process them as a triangle and so most in the industry agree that the future of graphics is atomic.

Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail technology, used in its Geoverse software, is based on the concept of atoms in 3D space – that is, storing objects as collections of 3D pixels. This is a better way of representing real-world objects, as it doesn’t ‘fill in’ objects with homogenous textures and repetitive shapes. Rather, it represents every pixel of a scanned object just as it appears in the real world.
On the surface, Unlimited Detail may look like some existing technologies available elsewhere. However, there are some crucial differences under the hood that really set it apart.

After the debut of the UD demo video on YouTube, some people made the mistake of saying that UD was a voxel system. A voxel system is where you make everything out of either small blocks or floating atoms. While UD does make everything out of atoms, the difference is that it uses an entirely different approach that allows infinite numbers of them running in real-time. Traditional voxel techniques were just too inefficient and limited.
How Unlimited Detail differs:
Unlimited detail is a search algorithm that searches for one atom for every pixel on the screen. Because it functions in this way, the total volume of data is irrelevant and the algorithm’s speed depends on screen resolution instead of dataset size.
With UD, your laser scanned data is smaller, faster, and more realistic.
The atomic method used by Unlimited Detail to store and render 3D data is practically identical to the data generated by 3D laser scanning; commonly known as point clouds.
As such, it made perfect sense for Euclideon to start focussing on how the UD technology can apply to the biggest creators and users of point cloud data and laser surveying – the geospatial industry.

As part of this move towards the geospatial industry, Euclideon has created specialised software – Geoverse – that can view point cloud data converted from industry standard formats (e.g. .LAS). Data is viewed – in 2D or stereoscopic 3D –without loading times through Geoverse’s intuitive interface using either a mouse or a gaming controller.

Alternatively, Euclideon has also created a Software Development Kit (SDK) allowing OEMs to integrate Euclideon’s UD visualisation technology into existing geospatial software packages. This way, point cloud data benefits not only from UD’s instant visualisation technology, but can also interact with an organisation’s existing spatial datasets – enabling better asset management, customer engagement, situational briefing, or a myriad of other uses.
If your organisation is keen to start using Euclideon’s UD technology, and can’t wait for your geospatial software provider to integrate the technology themselves, Euclideon also offers agile enterprise solutions, tailor-made to suit your requirements.

Please contact us to see what Euclideon can do for your business.
Euclideon’s conversion software solves all these problems, by compressing data down to 5-20% of its original size – without degrading quality – and enabling it to be viewed in the Geoverse visualisation package in less than a second – no matter how large the data is, or if it’s coming from a hard drive, flash drive, local server, or the internet.
The four major benefits to converting data to the compressed Euclideon format are:
Current formats accepted : OBJ, LAS, LAZ, FLS, PTS, TXT and PLY.

Euclideon offer a range of products, including its ready-made GeoVerse software, designed for users to instantly and effortlessly visualise 3D point cloud data in its geospatial context; its conversion software, which allows users to compress their point-cloud data down to 5-20% of its original size for effortless storage, streaming and use in GeoVerse; and a Software Development Kit for OEMs to integrate Euclideon’s revolutionary Unlimited Detail 3D visualisation technology into their own products.
Additionally, Euclideon can create bespoke agile solutions for both OEMs and direct users, to ensure the very best utilisation and integration of Unlimited Detail technology into their current systems.
The future of data is 3D, and with laser scanners, LiDAR, and photogrammetry technologies becoming more and more popular, the demand for ways to manage, store, and visualise the generated datasets is rapidly growing.

Users are crying out for a way to handle and gain added value from these vast datasets, without having to invest in new computer hardware and infrastructure.
OEMs positioned at the tech forefront of spatial and surveying software are partnering with Euclideon to integrate the unparalleled, immersive, real-time 3D visualisation capabilities offered by Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail technology, directly into their software products.
Better yet, Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail visualisation capabilities are being integrated into spatial workflows, making, for instance, remote tagging, inspection, and management of assets possible – resulting in less field visits, and a significant reduction in the costs associated with them.

Don’t get left behind in this 3D revolution: become a Smart Partner today, and offer your users a taste of the future of 3D visualisation, before it becomes standard fare


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Anonymous,  March 5, 2013 at 6:04 PM  

I think you have been taken in by their marketing hype. Even one of the few patents they have applied for admits what they had previously been coy about, that programmers have known, that it is merely an octree data structure. Essentially all they have been able to demonstrate is pre-cooked static scenes and very, very limited detail.

They say "Storage compaction to between 5-20% of original .LAS size"...las is a text data format. Even Winzip can do that.

Anonymous,  March 26, 2013 at 10:48 PM  

It does say streaming and use though which probably isnt too easy to do with a zip file. I am generally a bit skeptical about the hyperbole from before but they may have still achieved a few interesting things.

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