Reality modelling now mainstream, says software mogul

By on 1 November, 2016

3D reality model of Helsinki from Be Inspired awards finalist City of Helsinki


Today at the Year in Infrastructure Conference in London, Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley claimed that reality modelling has now gone mainstream, illustrating a wide array of use cases for the new technology.

Based on photographs stitched together to form a geometrically accurate 3D model, reality modelling technology such as Bentley’s ContextCapture has proven valuable for a surprisingly wide array of projects in a very short period of time. Since its release 12 months ago, ContextCapture has seen adoption in at least 68 countries.

As part of today’s media day at the Year in Infrastructure Conference, Bentley addressed over 200 members of the press to highlight the growth areas in 3D reality modelling technology.

This reality modelling phenomenon..,” Bentley claimed “…has gone mainstream.”


Greg Bentley presents at the Year In Infrastructure 2016 Conference

“I believe we will go on to see reality modelling answering the question as to how drones, mixed reality devices, the industrial Internet of Things—and in fact, ‘digital natives’—will converge to advance infrastructure engineers, project delivery, and asset performance,” Bentley said.

Bentley went on to highlight a number of the applications that reality modelling has come in use for, including large infrastructure projects, urban planning, asset inspections, facilities management and even forensics.

Almost a quarter of over 60 finalists of the conference’s Be Inspired awards have used ContextCapture in their workflows, and this proportion is expected to grow even more in coming years.

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In Australia, 3D pioneers AEROmetrex are making a name for themselves using ContextCapture as part of their Aero3Dpro service, which aims to create geometrically accurate intelligent 3D models for all of Australia’s capital cities. Their expected clients include everyone from building managers and local governments to security agencies and the entertainment industry.

On a very different scale, police authorities in Queensland have begun using remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and ContextCapture to accurately model incident sites to perform forensic analysis.

As part of the conference, Bentley Systems have also announced the launch of ‘hybrid inputs’ for ContextCapture – the ability to incorporate 3D scanning data, to the photographs and survey points that have until now comprised a ContextCapture model.


Reality model of the A9 Dualling project by CH2M Fairhurst Joint Venture, Be Inspired finalists.

Greg Bentley also made the case that since the acquisition of Acute3D in 2015, the proliferation of reality modelling across projects assures that it will become a mainstream contributor to infrastructure project delivery and asset performance.

In the Be Inspired awards category of Reality Modelling, three finalists have best showcased the possibilities of ContextCapture:

  • Kano laboratory, Waseda University, Technical Research Institute, Obayashi Corporation – Automated Recognition of Work Progress at a Construction Site
  • CH2M Fairhurst Joint Venture – A9 Dualling Programme, Transport Scotland
  • City of Helsinki – Helsinki 3D+

The winners of the Be Inspired awards will be announced this Wednesday 2 November as part of the Year in Infrastructure Conference, and will be reported in Spatial Source soon thereafter.


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