May 31, 2019
As technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent decades, the most forward-thinking professional tradespeople have infused their traditional hands-on workmanship with a whole host of modern tools, from accounting software to computer-aided design. On that cutting edge is Matterport, an advanced camera system that captures imagery and measurements, then processes the data to create editable and shareable three-dimensional rendering of the photographed location. We caught up with Giffin & Crane Executive Vice President Eric Carlstedt for more about the technology and how it appeals to builders.
How would you describe the Matterport technology to the layperson?
It’s a camera with a few extra attributes. It takes 360-degree pictures, logs coordinates when it takes a photo, and is able to measure its distance from surrounding objects. When you take multiple pictures of a space, it is able to use the information to create a 3-D model of the area you can then view through your computer or mobile device. It also creates a cloud model that provides extremely accurate measurements that anyone proficient in CAD technology, such as architects or designers, can use in their design process.
Where did you first experience Matterport and what was your impression?
We first came across it a couple years back at the Procore Groundbreak Construction Technology Conference in Austin. We have always heavily photographed our projects during construction and usually generate hardbound books as well as data files of all the photos. They were shot and organized in a way that easily allowed us to always go back to see what’s behind the finishes — but the process was painstaking!
The Matterport system seemed to do what we were doing but do it so much more quickly. Plus, you don’t need to go find the book — all the models are on the cloud and all our guys have mobile devices that allow them to view the models right in the field.
What was it about the technology that appealed to you as a builder?
In building, information is everything, and assumptions can be deadly. Matterport made it very easy to gather a massive amount of useful information in a short amount of time. I think technology is at its best when it both improves your final product while also increasing the efficiency and ease of your process. If we get a better final product and more time to focus on other important details, I’m in!