Leica BLK360 Integration Opens Up More Opportunity to Capture the World in 3D


By Bill Robinson, Capture It 3D

Two years ago I did a sample Matterport scan for Shari Kamimori, founder of 3D Virtual Design Technology (3DVDT) in Sonoma, California. Shari has over 20 years of experience in using 3D laser scanners and built her company into a leader in the scan-to-BIM space.

In May of this year, Shari was presenting at the 2018 California Preservation Conference in Palo Alto and wanted to give a product demo showcasing the use of the BLK360 in scanning a winery. When Shari reached out to see if I’d be interested in working with her to scan Three Sticks Winery, I jumped at the opportunity.

In reflecting on the experience, I was impressed with how well the BLK360 and Matterport’s Capture app work together. This powerful integration makes it easier, faster and more efficient than ever before to scan spaces. All told, it took 40 scans to capture the winery, 12 of which were with the BLK360. Switching back and forth between the Pro2 and the BLK360 was seamless - including the process for using the Capture app on the BLK360, which is exactly identical to the process for using Matterport’s camera.

The Benefits of Scanning with the Matterport Capture App

A few Matterport camera owners have asked me to share my thoughts on the overall experience of using the BLK360 and the Matterport Capture app in conjunction. I’d probably boil down the benefits into three key things: ease-of-use, real-time visual feedback, and time saved on post-processing.

  1. Ease of Use
    It became immediately obvious why it makes sense for BLK360 owners to invest in Matterport’s software as part of the integration. The Matterport Capture app offers an intuitive process on the iPad, allowing users to visualize the scan with a minimap of registered scan points. Previously, creating a certifiable BIM model came with challenges because scanners were difficult to operate, and required precise placement to produce an accurate model. Now, a person can use Matterport’s push-button simple capture app reducing the need for lengthy personnel training or specialized operators.


  2. Real time visual feedback
    Using the Matterport Capture app, the data is quickly transferred to the iPad and initial alignment is fast. Having the Capture app confirm alignment of the scans prior to leaving a location is a big advantage over manual tracking. In the past users may have run into the issue of not getting the scan points required to ensure alignment. In some cases, missing a scan point would have meant you had to go back to site to capture a missing scan point. Now with a user can now confirm that they have scanned all of the necessary data points to create a scan, cutting down on visits to a job site.


  3. Time saved with post-processing
    Before Matterport, AEC professionals would have to manually stitch together panos, spending countless hours to create a model. With Matterport’s platform, panos are automatically stitched together, saving both time and money. But again, going back to my first point, the time savings really happens not just with the post processing from automatic stitching but by the pre-alignment that takes place in the field, ensuring that you never miss any scan points. Without the Matterport Capture app, it becomes challenging to track scan positions, especially for large commercial spaces.


Overall, the potential to scan larger spaces, mixed-use spaces, and interior/exterior spaces using the BLK360 opens a lot of opportunities for Matterport photographers across industries including AEC, commercial real estate, insurance and many others. For BLK360 users, using the Matterport Capture app improves turn around time, removes human error, and automates the auto stitching, cutting down significantly on the post-processing time.

I’m now looking forward to using both technologies and integrating the BLK360/Matterport Capture app combo into my business and expanding the types of Matterport scans I can create.

For more information about the Matterport and Leica BLK360 integration, please visit: https://try.matterport.com/leica-blk360-and-matterport/

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