Less than two years since FARO transformed the cloud-computing reality capture space with FARO Sphere, the pioneering 3D measurement, imaging and realization technology company has done it again.
Introducing FARO Sphere XG, or Next Generation — an enhanced cloud-based platform that improves on the best of what Sphere achieved, all while adding entirely new capabilities and workflow development, managing access to cloud, desktop and mobile solutions.
Sphere XG is the next step in FARO’s cloud-based computing, an achievement that combines the capabilities of FARO Sphere and HoloBuilder, the company’s June 2021 acquisition, into a single, unified platform. Now, construction, operations and geospatial professionals can upload, view, measure, analyze, and share all reality capture data over time in a single environment.
The platform integrates data from a wide variety of capture methods including stationary scanning, mobile scanning, iPhone LiDAR scanning and 360° photo capture, and can consume data from standard industry file formats and integrate with several of the industry's most popular BIM and project management platforms.
What is Sphere XG?
At its heart, Sphere XG, like its predecessor, is a data-democratizing engine. What it does best is break down information silos and place that data in a cloud-based format so that a variety of project stakeholders can access, manage, and analyze it no matter where they reside.
Before you think, “democratizing data” is a throwaway idea, know that it’s not. Rather, it’s at the core of what Sphere XG does best. That’s because such data silos waylay so much of the construction and building operations industries. The data on this point is clear, and it tells a troubling story: 52% of rework is caused by poor documentation and miscommunication, 62% of construction professionals transfer field data manually, and 30% of documentation during construction is lost by project completion.
These informational bottlenecks add up. They add up in time spent per project, and they add up in spent dollars and cents. Delays like this also divert a construction or facility management company from acquiring new business as readily as they otherwise could— all because the previous project had so much data processing and data management inefficiency.
The good news is that in each of these data traffic jam instances Sphere XG can help. Whether it’s:
- Real-time collaboration and project oversight
- The ability to scan, upload, and share reality capture data from FARO and 3rd party devices seamlessly onto Sphere XG’s cloud space
- Or it’s securely storing historical data throughout the project lifecycle enabling better data-backed decisions…
No other cloud-based reality capture platform on the market today is this comprehensive. Actionable insights are what matter most. And Sphere XG helps deliver unmatched data and project management clarity.
Add to that additional features that include: VideoMode for 360° photo capture and the ability to “time travel” or see multiple point clouds and 360° images side-by-side in one project, and Sphere XG’s value proposition only increases.
Manage your Data Deluge
What it really comes down to is the fact that the new Sphere XG is set to revolutionize the 3D reality capture space yet again. And it’s doing so as the world continues to go digital in a hurry as the amount of stored information — across all industries and workflows — continues to expand at a breakneck pace.
It’s hard to put this data deluge into perspective. Eric Schmidt the former CEO of Google provides this provocative context: “There were 5 exabytes [5,000,000,000 gigabytes] of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days.”
Seen in that larger pull-back-the-lens view, it’s clear cloud-based platforms like Sphere XG are really what the world needs… neXt.
What Happens NeXt?
With Legacy Sphere (the official new name of Sphere) and Sphere XG operating concurrently, natural questions for FARO customers arise. Chiefly, what happens next? And is my data secure?
Answering the second question first, YES. The development of Sphere XG is built on the HoloBuilder platform. Thus, for FARO WebShare Software users (accessible through Sphere) and Legacy Sphere customers, we will work with you to migrate your project data once all relevant functionality for your workflows is available.
For our new FARO® Orbis™ Mobile Laser Scanner cloud processing customers Sphere XG will be their go-to platform. Legacy HoloBuilder customers, meanwhile, will experience a gradual brand transition and user interface update. The existing WebShare/Sphere Legacy platform will eventually be phased out as users are migrated into Sphere XG.
Note: *There is no immediate timetable on how swiftly this will occur, but it will not be abrupt or rushed.