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NavVis M3 Trolley Eliminates Need for Location Check

satis&fy uses the NavVis to scan event locations in 3D and help customers create a highly accurate map of their event facilities

There’s one situation operators of older event locations, in particular, encounter far too often: A potential client contacts them with specific and urgent questions on dimensions, proportions, distances, and clearances - but all they have to offer are outdated 2D layout plans. But with the M3, these operators could map out their locations - even entire exhibition venues - and upload them online, allowing visitors to take a virtual tour of the facility as though they were there in person.

Tangible Results - Fast and Accessible

These are just two of the many examples of how satis&fy can now use the M3 by NavVis to help event operators. satis&fy technical planners can use the M3 Trolley to map the dimensions of entire buildings down to the centimeter in just a few hours to create a digital 3D layout. This location data is then prepared by satis&fy's Video Services department to match the customer's application and specifications before delivery. Customers then have a to-scale 3D representation of their facility on screen, which they can use to determine the exact distance between two points from any perspective with just a few clicks. This allows them to immediately answer questions on whether objects will fit into or through the space. 360° panorama images are also available, showing everything down to the smallest detail.

Flexible Use

The M3 Trolley was developed and built by NavVis, a start-up company from Munich. It creates a so-called point cloud, in which lasers are used to scan and measure rooms in a 5 mm grid. A huge set of individual measurement points is used to map the building from the inside and precisely determine distances. The system also takes high-resolution 360° panorama images which can be used in a manner similar to Google StreetView.

Tobias Mayer handles the technical side of this new service at satis&fy: “Images and data are always recorded at the same time. This means the customer can decide to start off by using only some of this information, such as the 2D or 3D representations. We store all image and measurement data for the customer securely, so that they can access it at a later time as part of our expanded services, without us having to bring in the M3 Trolley and take further measurements in the future,” Mayer says.

Customer-Friendly Data Preparation

After recording, satis&fy prepares all data for the customer so they can work with it immediately in the IndoorViewer, a browser-based viewing application. The customer doesn't need any resident software, and using the data is simple. This allows potential event agencies to work with measurement data from the point cloud before they plan an event, experimenting without having to travel to the location in person themselves. We have already measured some initial event locations using the technology, such as the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund.

The service is especially interesting for locations that don’t have up to date plans, or that want to upgrade their online presence. One way to do so is by adding 360° panoramic images where they can mark points of interest and allow potential guests to look around the rooms of their event facilities, just as if they were live and on site.

Broad Spectrum of Potential Uses

However, these are not all the potential uses the technology offers. Here are some other potential areas of application:

  • Real Estate: Potential buyers can “tour” far-away residential or commercial buildings online, room by room, and have all the dimensions they need available from the cloud to help them make a decision.
  • Retail: The technology can be used in a similar way here, allowing users to tour stores and plan shelving units without having to be on site.
  • Trade Fairs: Exhibition stands are visually recorded in 3D, including exhibited objects, lettering, and wall panels, which are easy to read thanks to the high resolution. Photos are taken directly after completion. This can also be applied to showrooms of any kind.
  • Museums and Exhibitions: Visitors see exhibits in high resolution as points of interest online, room by room; full-text search available. This application is an especially interesting service for schools, universities, and other educational institutions.
  • Construction Management: Construction progress is recorded using images and data (construction stage assessment and documentation).
  • Facility Management: Images can be used to assign work instructions, which can also help provide orientation in chaotic or complex areas like boiler rooms.
  • Online Collaboration: Renovation projects can be discussed online, for instance, based on images and data from the point cloud. Discussion participants can mark key places on the image they'd like to discuss.

The design of visual and text-based user interfaces is API free. This means it's easy to take CI specifications into account and integrate them into the programming.

Ongoing Development

“We are working with NavVis on an ongoing basis to expand this range of services. Currently, our biggest project is converting point-cloud measurement data into 3D CAD plans, because this has a direct practical use for visually implementing event ideas, for instance, in the events sector. Indoor navigation in app format is another important topic for the future. In addition, the M3 Trolley will soon be able to record WiFi or Bluetooth coverage in facilities,” Mayer explains.

Another long-term possibility is to integrate virtual reality: The goal is to be able to use a joystick or on-screen navigation elements to move through a building like in a gaming graphic, facilitating walk throughs and much more. And then comes hyper-reality: The idea here, for example, is to map rendered stage set-ups in the hall and change the dimensions of the set-up until everything fits perfectly, both in terms of dimensions and in terms of customer expectations. Data available from the point cloud is already extremely detailed, and allows for these kinds of applications.

Regarding the current range of services available, Tobias Mayer says: “We want to offer customers something they can work with directly, without lots of work or preparations, with concrete results they can implement immediately to make their internal processes more efficient.”

Further information on satis&fy's range of services and technical details on the NavVis M3 Trolley are available at


Photos: Marcus Simaitis

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