3D Scanning | Interview with Faro Technologies

Picture taken at Drumbeg Stone Circle 😉

 

 

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” Thanks to Faro Technologies

An Interview with Jack Strongitharm

 

 

 

My mind was electric visualising the possibilities of our future ‘everything’ after the heart-warming interview I had with Jack Strongitharm from Faro Technologies. I felt as if I had just interviewed Father Christmas, and all my gifts were coming at once when Jack suggested there was a possibility he would bring Faro’s latest 3D Scanner to trial at the Virtual Heritage Network Conference which will be held in UCC in December.

 

FARO®  is the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement technology, pioneering technology that permits high-precision 3D measurement, imaging and comparison of parts and compound structures within production and quality assurance processes. Their devices are used for rapid prototyping, documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, surveying and construction amongst other things.

This latest laser scanner The FARO FocusS 350, is built for indoor and outdoor use, making it a great ally for our unpredictable, blustery Irish weather.

Jack also spoke of the development of a new hand scanner, Freestyle, specifically for smaller objects, which I immediately thought would be a great tool for the detailed work carried out by the heritage industry.

Our conversation quickly turned to all things virtual reality, VR being a keen interest of mine as I am exploring it as part of my research enquiry for my Masters in Digital Arts and Humanities with UCC.

I was enthralled by the functionality and usability of VR in Faro’s workplace. Jack offering a detailed account of how the intelligence of this technology facilitates employees to visit off-site jobs, virtually. For example if you are based in Cork and you are working on a project in Galway that has already been captured (through 3D scanning technology) you can go there -virtually. Gaming engines and the Oculus Rift make this affordable.

It facilitates ‘connecting’ in creative ways, attracting a new generation of users to understand your project. As Jack explained, “in many ways you can bring them into the physical capturing them in pointcloud”, Faro’s virtual reality software solution. “This enables the user to interact with the information, in new and more exciting, immersive ways.”

Expense is no longer the key issue as in recent years it has become significantly cheaper and more affordable to do this. Commercial software is coming out as standard to support all this technology; it is available from Amazon and your local computer store.

We spoke in-depth about Faro Labs VR Point Cloud, which brings the Virtual Reality experience of the Oculus Rift to the world of Point Clouds. Enabling the user to walk around in 3D Point Clouds generated with the FARO Focus 360 scanner to get a complete new view on the data. I was excited to hear that it won’t be long before it is made possible to put our own data into this application.

In my mind’s eye I could see how this would be, and already is, revolutionary for so many industries.

Jack went on to speak of Faro’s influence on the heritage industry, specifically how the accuracy of the scanning technology is helping in the reconstruction of the heritage sites.

We discussed Faro’s involvement with the education sector, which is quite significant across UK and Europe. It is understandable why Faro is the company of choice as

“the price of our scanner is almost half to our nearest competitor and half the weight as well, so it is something universities can afford. It is almost an admin fee for the software to use.”

Faro offer university bundles for the hardware and software, with the vision of making it easy for any university to get access to. It is also available to hire, making it accessible to all types of consumers.

 

When I asked about the future of Faro, jack assured me that it lies in the hands of the industry; they can only anticipate demand for offerings such as virtual reality, which they are currently testing with projects such as the laps project. However this is the second time around for virtual reality, and it will need consumers to adopt this technology for it to become sustainable in the market.

 

I believe one key difference we have this time around is the growth and development within the current ‘digital age’. We have emerged into a technology-rich, digitally literate, open, connected society – open to and searching for all things 3D, and virtual reality. As Jack put it, “we expect everything to be connected, immersive and …. affordable.”

 

After speaking with Jack I can see how Faro are achieving their mission of ‘enabling mankind to easily and accurately connect the physical world to the virtual world.’ I am counting down the days to the Virtual Heritage Network conference in December to get my hands on their latest 3D scanner, and point cloud software.

 

As part of my Masters thesis I envision a space that allows students to explore ancient sites, virtually – a sort of virtual culmination of the most beautiful ancient sites globally, I plan on attracting students to this with the ancient charm and magic of ‘story’. With the genius and pioneering quality of companies such as Faro and projects such as the 3d icon project that the European Union are funding, visions like mine are not worlds away after all.

 

By Ciara Josephine

 

 

 

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CiaraJosephine.com by Ciara Josephine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.ciarajosephine.com .

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The Beauty of XML

 

 

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Extensible Markup Language

XML is a markup language that builds web pages. XML looks like HTML however it is designed to store, carry and exchange data. It is not designed to display data, which is the purpose of HTML. You can write XML in wordpad, notepad or any text application that supports XML, these applications are free. Unlike HTML, XML tags are case sensitive. XML is both human- and machine-readable.

What XML means:

Extensible: You can derive other languages out of XML, a program or programming language that is designed so that users and developers can expand or add to its capabilities.

Mark Up: The sequence of characters of symbols that can be inserted in certain places in a text file to indicate how a file should look (<, >, ^, /, ? etc)

The many benefits of XML:

  • It overcomes the inflexibility of html, allowing you to do more. (Html is defined by tags and that’s it, you can’t do any more.)
  • It uses ‘words’ which you can create and design yourself, offering bespoke solutions.
  • It can be viewed on multiple software devices.
  • It has longevity meaning that what you create will last within the ever-changing eco-system of the internet.
  • It is verifiable, persistent, sharable and a standard across multiple platforms.
  • It makes your data more useful and meaningful.

An example of why you would you use XML:

If you want to organize 500 books (or any kind of data) you can store the data through XML and present it through html. You can then use the data for searching, reference or to edit the data, thus the data becomes meaningful.

Examples of sites using XML:

CELT is an example of an XML site that is used internationally. It showcases the longevity of XML as it was created twenty years ago. It is still searchable, usable and is popular globally for what it offers within its research field.

Transcribe Bentham created a basic XML code for crowd-sourcing purposes, to allow the public to assist in transcribing the Bentham manuscripts. Maynooth University took this code and used it for the letters 1916 project, which has a similar intention. Showcasing the many benefits of XML – sharable, verifiable, persistent, standard across platforms and open to adapt to create bespoke solutions.

 

XML BASIC RULES

XML documents have a header which show that it is an XML document

e.g. <?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”ISO-8859-1”?

An XML document will have one root element and a closing element. The root element encapsulates everything, the child elements allows you to structure the document.

 

Examples of Tags & Elements

 

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Example of XML Document

 

<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”ISO-8859-1”? Header

 

<contact-information>   Root element called parent element (start tag)

 

<name> Ciara Josephine </name> child element

<Profession> Holistic Therapy child element (start tag)

<sector> Personal Development </sector> sub child element

<address> Bridgefield Castlemartyr, Cork </address> child element

<phone> 0861614099 </phone> child element

 

<contact-information> (end tag)

 

References:

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CiaraJosephine.com by Ciara Josephine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.ciarajosephine.com .

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