More than six months in, people have begun to settle in to the COVID-19 era. Things that were once “impossible” — all-virtual offices, take-out drinks, town meetings over Zoom — are now commonplace. Some of them, we’ve even found, are better than the original version.
Take town meetings: Where we used to have maybe one or two people show up at the school board meetings I chair, and hold them in a room that could maybe accommodate 50 people comfortably, we have had regular Zoom meetings with more than 250 people in attendance to hear about our back-to-school plans. And we have had perfect attendance all spring and summer from the board members. No one has had to miss a meeting due to childcare, or travel, or even sickness!
Virtual is just … better. I suspect we’ll continue virtually for some time after it’s considered “safe” to meet in person again.
And this is 3D’s opportunity. What virtual 3D experiences will continue after this whole pandemic runs its course (whenever that is)? How will 3D data capture capitalize on this opportunity?
Especially with travel being so limited, there’s a huge demand for virtual travel experiences. And for some people, travel is a lot more limited than for others. This press release caught my eye: Glasses-free 3D display technology for nursing homes and rehab facilities. Of course these folks are going to be desperate for virtual experiences! They can barely even go outside! While much of this content is just video that’s then optimized for 3D display, imagine how cool a good fly-through would be for these folks.
Or maybe this kind of fly-through could be optimized for their families and friends so that they know better about the facilities where their loved ones are being housed:
Surely, the work of CyArk could be pushed into these kinds of facilities? For some, they may be despairing that they’ll ever be able to see some of these historical sites. Now they can. How do we make it happen at scale?
Or what about gaming? By at least one study, gaming is up by around 50% in the COVID era, as people stay home and kill time. How do we bring more real-life into gaming? One of my friends tweeted this out, which made me realize that lidar is more into the mainstream than I realized:
Somebody needs to LiDAR Sunday River CC, so we can play that course on PGA 2K21. This is directed to smart people.
— Chris Sedenka (@ChrisSedenka) August 31, 2020
He even got the weird capitalization (which I don’t use) correct! I love “This is directed to smart people.” Of course, someone replied that it had already been airborne surveyed, but that’s not really going to do the job, is it? We need to get a mobile system on that course, STAT. And all the courses!
Especially as VR headsets become more commonplace, there’s going to be increased demand for hyper-realistic gaming experiences. This is a 3D data capture opportunity, especially as the need for accuracy is so much lower than your average civil job, so you might be able to squeak out some increased margins.