Last week I attended the SPAR 2015 conference in Houston, TX. SPAR International is a conference & exhibition focused on end-to-end business and technology considerations for 3D measurement and imaging for industrial facilities; building, architecture and construction; forensic and security.

Below is a brief summary of the conference.


  • Market studies from ARC Advisory Group are showing that laser scanning industry continues to be on the rise, with the three major market being Automotive, Engineering & Business Services, and Government. High Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) expected through 2018. Key differentiators among competitors to include ease-of-use, and additional software improvements to allow for automatic processing of data.

Technology Trends:

  • UAV/UAS (unmanned aerial vehicles/systems) continue to see growth, with a portion of the exhibit floor being dedicated to this technology. FAA regulations are actively being refined, and once these new regulations are put in place, I expect an explosion of related services to become available in short order.
  • AR (augmented reality) also seems to growing by leaps and bounds. We are nearing being able to interact with digital information in ways that were previously only seen in science fiction movies (Minority Report, Iron Man).


  • New Leica (P16, P30, P40) Scanners, these are a combination of the best features of the C10 and P20 scanners, capable of collecting 1 million pts/second. They also have onboard HDR imaging capabilities, leading to better RGB coloring of point clouds. A test data set that I saw from the P40 had 6 mm spacing at approximately 150 ft, in a scan that took only 30 seconds! You do still need to add in time for photos. In this case, it was approximately 8 minutes for photos.
    These new scanner also have an IP54 rating, meaning that they are Dust Protected, and Splashing Water protected. This means they can scan in very harsh conditions.
  • New Leica Software: Leica will be pushing out an update to their Cloudworx line of products in the next few months, which will showcase a much improved ability to show massive amounts of point in real-time, with little to no waiting for points to refresh. A similar update is slated to be introduced into Cyclone later this year, which will also feature a hardware/software update that allow for automatic filtering of data that is abnormal or erroneous, such as rain and snow. This means you could scan in rain and snow, and it will have little to no effect on the data!
  • Augmented Reality hardware/software seems to be advancing quite well. Impressive options include the DAQRI Smart Helmet, and the Atheer Air Platform. This is very interesting!
  • New Point Meshing Tool from Thinkbox Software, Sequoia.
  • New meshing/data viewing options from Euclideon, offering very high levels of detail.
  • NewSpin is now live. They offer a solution for sharing point cloud data with clients over the web, with no need to install any plugins.


  • Begin Incorporating USIBD documents as part of the proposal process to ensure we and the client have good communication regarding project requirements/deliverables.

There are of course other things that went on at SPAR, but these are just some of the key areas I wanted to share with everyone.

Did you attend SPAR 2015 conference in Houston, TX? What were your main takeaways? Let us know in the comments below.

To Your Success,

Jon Adams
Director of Architectural and Heritage Services at DJS Associates, Inc.