When John Russo at ARC and founder of the USIBD pinged me about my late December blog on predictions for 2013 I had to tell him that I had not received any response. After a little encouragement he agreed to provide what I think you will find are a very thought provoking set of ideas.
1) Interior mobile continues to gain traction, but the cost will need to match that of a static scanner before it is adopted in any significant numbers. The market simply won’t bear the cost of $100k+ scanners – even for mobile.
2) Software as a Service, SaaS will continue to grow in large markets or for developers with monopolies such as Microsoft and Autodesk, but developers that specialize in smaller markets such as LiDAR will struggle to get their customers to accept this form of pricing.
3) 2013 will see a significant increase in the adoption of LiDAR by architects, engineers and contractors, but the majority of owners will still be reluctant, viewing the cost as unnecessary and opting to take their chances on change orders downstream.
4) No significant paradigm shift as we saw with the introduction of the FARO Focus 3D, but there may be one for hardware in 2014.
5) The opportunity exists for a progressive thinking software developer to shake up the market with a similar low cost offering for point cloud processing/ modeling software to rapidly capture a significant portion of the market share much like FARO did with the Focus, but are they willing to chance this risky strategy? We’ll see.
6) Augmented reality will begin to make its accent in the market place of early adopters, but it has a ways to go before practical applications that the market values become "reality".
7) Photogrammetry will make more progress. Expect more consumer grade solutions to appear that whittle away at the perceived value uneducated consumers have of service providers. This technology will not replace LiDAR as it is too dependent upon lighting conditions and will not meet the more stringent accuracies required for higher levels of design grade data.
8) The USIBD will continue to grow its membership and will obtain greater recognition in the industry. As the market for 3D data and reality capture evolves the demand for the standards and education being developed by the organization will increase.
9) Over the next three years we will see more industry organizations forming alliances in an attempt to reach complimentary markets and grow their respective membership bases. This will greatly benefit the industry.
10) Tablet devices will continue to erode the market share of traditional desktop and laptops, but they won’t replace them any time soon. Hardware developers will start to integrate their function into their product offering.
11) We will continue to see advancements in automated feature extraction and target – less registration.
12) Developers offering software rentals will increase. There are simply too many pieces of software needed to process point cloud data. Company budgets are reaching their limit with the number of different software packages they can purchase and pay maintenance on, as well as provide training for.