Bentley Acquires Acute3D

By on 17 February, 2015

Bentley Acute3D photogrammetry

Bentley Systems, Inc. has acquired France-based Acute3D, provider of Smart3DCapture software for ‘reality modelling.’ Rapid technology advancements in scanning and photography – and especially the burgeoning application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for these purposes – are making the capture of such observations broadly and continuously affordable for use with infrastructure management.

Acute3D software automates the generation of high-resolution, fully-3D representations from digital photographs taken with any camera – whether highly specialised or embedded in a smartphone. Scalable from site to city, and with precision limited only by the quantity and quality of photography, Acute3D technology can assure that existing conditions are contemporaneously considered throughout the architecture, engineering, construction, and operations of any infrastructure asset. And with photo sequences from UAVs likely to become the most feasible source for surveying, construction monitoring, and inspection workflows, Bentley claim that Acute3D’s “industrial-level accuracy and unlimited scalability” are making it a preferred technology for UAV manufacturers and professionals around the world.

Bentley Systems Founder and CTO Keith Bentley said, “The world-class Acute3D developers have already achieved two breakthroughs, which remove the barriers to the adoption of reality modelling: first, Acute3D has made it possible for anyone to sufficiently capture existing conditions with just a camera; of equal importance is the value of the Acute3D result. Rather than a voluminous cloud of discrete points, Acute3D produces a 3D ‘reality mesh’ – intrinsically in the same geometric idiom as engineering models, readily aligning the real-world context.

“Just as Acute3D’s innovations have now brought ‘reality modelling’ within reach of every infrastructure professional, we and our new colleagues are excited to be working together to incorporate Acute3D functionality throughout our platform and application portfolio, enhancing information mobility throughout infrastructure asset lifecycles.”

Acute3D was co-founded in 2011 by Dr. Jean-Philippe Pons and Dr. Renaud Keriven, who have attracted and led an accomplished team of researchers and developers, headquartered in Sophia Antipolis (the French “Silicon Valley”). Since its founding, Acute3D has attracted a rapidly expanding user base that includes Nokia, PASCO, and Saint-Gobain, and OEM licensees that include Airbus Group and Autodesk. In China, Internet giant Tencent is working with Acute3D to do large-scale 3D city modelling for several mega-cities, from both aerial and street view photography. It is also being used in the digital capture of the Great Wall of China, as reported in SpatialSource back in September.

Other applications of Acute3D have included existing conditions capture for construction sites, manufacturing facilities, mining operations, pipelines, and oil and gas exploration.

Dr. Jean-Philippe Pons said, “When Renaud and I founded Acute3D, our vision was to make widely available, at industrial precision, what we now describe as ‘reality modelling.’ With our team, we are very pleased to be joining Bentley to complete our reach. Together, we have already shared and embarked upon many new initiatives to incorporate ‘reality modelling’ within design and construction modelling. Voila!”

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