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360° Imaging Developments Unveiled for iSTAR Camera

Enables new measurement capabilities and colorization integration for FARO laser scanners

Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 17:25

(NCTech: Edinburgh, UK, and Houston, TX) --NCTech, the developer of reality imaging systems, announces two new developments for its industrial-grade iSTAR panoramic camera. The company will be demonstrating these developments at the SPAR 3D Expo & Conference, April 11–14, 2016, in The Woodlands, Texas.

Designed for rapid 360° imaging, iSTAR is a panoramic camera that precisely captures full spherical immersive images and high-resolution panoramic data streams for fast, efficient visual documentation of an environment. The new developments are as follows.

Measurement module

NCTech has developed a new software development kit for measurement. This enables iSTAR users to take measurements from directly within a spherical image by combining a “stereo pair” of iSTAR images. NCTech is providing the software development kit free of charge to enable third parties to build the measurement capability into their own software.

With an accuracy of approximately 0.1- to 1-percent (i.e., 1–10 mm across a 1 m length), the measurement capability is intended for applications in architecture, surveying, construction, and forensics. Key benefits to these markets include iSTAR’s high-speed capture and the ability to rapidly cover large areas on site and take measurements later.

“In situations that do not require the accuracy of a laser scanner, being able to quickly capture reasonably accurate point-to-point measurements from within an iSTAR panoramic image is a very useful capability,” says Neil Tocher, CTO, NCTech. “We have developed this software development kit in response to customers who have indicated that a faster way to generate measurements would be of interest.”

Arithmetica, the company behind the SphereVision suite of software, is one of the first to integrate the iSTAR software development kit for measurement.

“By supporting the iSTAR we are now able to offer users of SphereVision Project Suite the ability to capture accurate measurements from 360° images captured in stereo pair mode with the iSTAR camera,” says Mark Senior, the business development manager at Arithmetica. “This is in addition to the existing functionality that allows them to integrate maps, plans, and layouts, and enhance with links to other rich media such as video and audio to build an interactive view.”

FARO scan colorization integration

NCTech’s ColourCloud software has been integrated to allow direct import of raw image data from iSTAR to colorize scans captured by FARO laser scanners, all within the FARO SCENE software environment.

“We are committed to making colorization of laser scans as easy as possible,” says Cameron Ure, CEO of NCTech. “The best way to do that is to ensure that users can do everything from within their familiar software environment. This new integration for FARO users follows on from our recent Leica collaboration, and we look forward to announcing further integration developments in due course.”

NCTech is demonstrating these developments for the iStar camera in booth No. 314 at SPAR 3D Expo & Conference, April 11–14, 2016, in The Woodlands, Texas. To book a interview or demo at SPAR, email media@nctechimaging.com.


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NCTech designs and manufactures leading 360° reality imaging systems that automate and streamline the workflow of image documentation and can be used repeatedly, accurately, consistently by anyone anywhere.