I’m really confident that we are on the right track towards real-time 3D, when I know that the two giants DJI and Lockheed Martin are doing similar things. We do have the same basic technology idea, but the implementation, markets and longer-term focus are quite different.

Not all applications require real-time analysis, however most users will take the opportunity to utilise faster processing and get the job done faster. Some users will be happy that they can check the 3D model before they pack down the drone and leave the field. Other users will save huge amount of time and money by having remote experts analysing the real-time 3D models and having immediate contact with the drone pilot in the field.

Yet other entrepreneurs will invent new ways of using this technology that we haven’t thought about ourselves.

The developers of this technology will all benefit from the growing market awareness of real-time applications. DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, added real-time data processing into point-clouds in their latest version of their Terra geospatial software. Their customers are now getting used to the possibilities with fast 3D models from flights with their DJI drones.

Lockheed Martin, the gigantic defence contractor, released the Hydra Fusion geospatial software with real-time 3D capabilities years ago, as a part of a comprehensive drone operating package, VCSi.

We are not foolish, we have no intention to compete with a Chinese drone manufacturer and an American defence contractor, both being giants.

We have different business goals and markets. They focus on selling drones and drone operating software, respectively, to their clients. To do so they have added geospatial management software, and as a part of that they added different types of real-time 3D functionalities. I-CONIC’s approach is more or less the opposite.

We start with real-time 3D solutions and offer those to integrators, manufacturers and service providers who want to add such functionalities to the offerings to their clients. I-CONIC’s software works better when included into more complete systems, and would be open to integration with (or extension to) any end-customer solutions.

The key competencies of Lockheed and DJI compared to I-CONIC’s are of course also different. We are only focusing on implementing advanced photogrammetry and computer vision mathematics on GPUs.

While everything we talked about here is related to real-time mapping and inspection based on a single moving camera, I-CONIC’s longer-term focus is real-time 3D modelling based on multiple drones. This patent-applied concept will create Live3D, where also moving objects are modelled, allowing for applications in two other markets segments – blue-light authorities and entertainment.

Also for this concept, I-CONIC will partner with integrators to create complete end-user systems.

And at last – nothing that includes cameras and transmission is really real-time. Read more about that in our blog here.