Oct 10 2019

3D tours: what to consider

The special area “Mobile Spaces” at this year’s interzum was documented using 3D technology. The entire process was executed by the company Bildmechaniker with 3D technology from Matterport – the level of detail is so remarkable that even the caravan on display can be entered virtually.  We talked to Roland Possler, Managing Director of Bildmechaniker, about trade fair stand measurement, pitfalls, real estate conversions and what they have to do with mothers-in-law. 

Roland, what potential do you see for exhibitors who use Matterport technology to extend the extend their stands past the trade fair?

A trade fair stand is always a very short-term and often very expensive platform for product presentation. Preserving such a stand digitally and being able to visit it any time as a 3D model opens up further possibilities for trade fair follow-up, whether to increase customer loyalty or as a way to portray an innovative public image. 

Active markers are a great tool. Each of these markers can be furnished with extensive information such as pictures, texts or a link to your website. 

What are the challenges of a virtual tour?

There are plenty. Exercising care and caution is important. Everything captured by the scan, even rubbish in the corners, is also visible in the result and cannot be deleted in post-production. Mirrors and windows also have a significant effect on the result. 

Large open areas without an alternating surface structure are also difficult to scan or are constructed incorrectly. This requires some improvisation. However, water surfaces are especially problematic because water does not reflect the emitted infrared signal. As a result, this type of surface is nearly invisible to the scanner. 

Direct sunlight is too bright for infrared technology and here too, there are blind spots in the final product. People in motion are also difficult because they are depicted as ghost-like structures in the 3D model.

What does a company have to do in order to produce a 3D tour, how long does it take and how much does it cost?

It’s actually pretty simple – I come by with the scanner and just start shooting. The customer decides how the space is presented. In the case of a domestic fire, everything must remain as is for the insurance documentation. 

If the object (house, office space, stand) is supposed to generate interest, it is important to clean up the space beforehand. Decorative elements generally make the images more beautiful and the products that will be marked must be present. 

My go-to tip is to prepare everything as if your mother-in-law were coming over. In order to install active markers, the customer has to provide this information in writing or digitally.

The shape of the room and furniture have a decisive influence on scan time. An area of 100 square metres can be done in 30 minutes, but it can also take 1.5 hours.

The cost depends on the size of the area to be scanned. For 100 square metres, the net price is around EUR 400 plus any extras. The larger the area to be covered, the more expensive it is.

Can you name a case that might be interesting for furniture companies, designers or architects?

We scanned an empty, former H&M retail space for a team of architects and turned over the captured 3D point cloud model to them. This was used as the basis for new designs and installations in the property. The model also saved the architects a lot of preliminary measurement work.

About Matterport technology

The AI-assisted image processing software from Matterport creates interactive 3D experiences of real spaces in seconds. At the same time, infrared sensors measure every detail of the specific object. The result are realistic virtual and 3D tours, which users can explore on their own from their individual point of view. 

Unlike other providers, there are no annoying load times between the individual positions. Instead, the user virtually glides through the room while the environment naturally passes by. This gives the user the feeling of being right there. But the best thing is for you to simply experience it for yourself.


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Portrait of Roland Possler
Roland Possler standard.toggle-bookmark Public Relations
Bildmechaniker GmbH
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