April 9, 2013

My Top 5 for SPAR International 2013

With a booth, a product announcement and a presentation spot, I feel as though SPAR International 2013 has already started for me! Attendance is up over last year and I’ve already started seeing posts on the Laser Scanning Forum about where we can meet once onsite. That being said, here are the top 5 things I’m most excited about seeing at SPAR this year …

  1. Who exactly is it that Autodesk is taking on? For those who missed the recent release of Autodesk ReCap and/or the webinar Tuesday, April 9, it would appear that Autodesk is finally getting serious about 3D imaging. They have released the new RCS format which is based on the Alice Labs work of Elmer Bol. As of now, they are simply porting point clouds into all existing platforms for 2014 (3D Studio Max by Q3) and allowing users to prep and clean the data in the ReCap Desktop application. However, they are promising to show the integration of software and hardware from their acquisition of Allpoint Systems at the conference. It’s not a stretch to see them as a future Cyclone and LFM competitor with a much larger user base from which to spread costs. Either way, most of my clients use AutoCAD, so they’ve gotten my attention.
  2. The “Completely Out of the Blue” stuff. It seems as though every year I find some new system or application that I’ve never heard of before. Some years it’s software, others a new photogrammetric camera system, you just never know! However, it is rarely something from a major manufacturer that catches me by surprise. Instead, it tends to be a startup or newly minted PhD. I look forward to seeing who or what that is this year.
  3. Finding out Who is Where! As I mentioned in a previous post, there is always a lot of turnover in tech industries. Considering how many LinkedIn posts hit my inbox every day, I am sure that I missed more than a couple of those “Look who got a new job” posts. It’s always interesting to see how many new business cards I get from old friends.
  4. Finding Where the New Folks Are From. Between the SPAR conference moving from Houston to Colorado this year, and the increase in registrations, there will definitely be new attendees this year. I’m very curious to see if there is a pattern. More West Coast than Gulf Coast? More out of the mining industry given our location? Maybe it will be more out of the entertainment industry, or something completely unexpected. I don’t know, but it seems unlikely to me that we will see the exact same demographics as last year. 
  5. Colorado Springs! I was in Denver for the ILMF conference in February, and leaving the hotel required a heavy coat and a brisk pace. Then again, given the fact that Denver’s airport is closed for snow today, it may not be too different! However, I’ve heard some great things about Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor in particular, so I have high hopes (and no, that’s not a reference to Colorado’s recent cannabis laws … some of us still have to work in secure areas!).

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