Photogrammetry is so amazing

Photogrammetry is so amazing

Published on 30.08.2016

Walking in a three-dimensional photo

“Wow” says one, ” awesome!”another. The first seconds, the first meters amaze even the VR-experienced participants at the Berlin Virtual Reality Meetup. What happens on the fourth floor of the “Colonia Nova” in Berlin-Neukölln is a must-see. Not seen, experienced! With VR glasses, specifically the HTC Vive, you can enter other places and walk around in them. Photorealistically and in 3D, the environment changes depending on where you are moving.

The ruins of Hohenrechberg Castle, the Abbey of Cluny in France or the Death Valley in California – these are special environments in which users can move. At least within 15 square meters you can walk around, so large is the range of action of the VR glasses HTC Vive. If you want to go to a more distant place, then you “teleport” yourself there with a controller. So far, the startup has recorded ten locations using photogrammetry technology and combined them in a special software.

A room in 500 photographs

In order to recreate the real existing places in virtual reality, the creators simply use cameras, system cameras. A place is captured with 100 to 500 photos, sometimes more. Important: Each surface must be photographed from at least two perspectives. Then the computer can create a three-dimensional experience,” a lot of mathematics, ” explains co-founder Daniel Sproll.

Impressive: The German founders have already collected 600,000 euros from investors, with further money to be raised in the autumn. Crucial: a six-month stay in Silicon Valley with BoostVC. The accelerator in San Mateo promotes many startups in the field of virtual reality through accommodation, office space, advice from mentors and financial support. In return, the obstetricians of the startups receive company shares.

As a VR startup in Silicon Valley

And the enthusiasm was huge. Again and again Adam Draper, the boss of BoostVC, first led investors into the basement of his office space to the young Germans. “Something like this only happens once in your life that a new medium is born, “says Daniel Sproll, referring to the community, cohesion and enthusiasm in the VR industry,”that’s what drives me”.

“The most important thing is: just do it, just experiment,” advises co-founder David Finsterwalder. The fun of VR is more important than the intention to build a big company. Finsterwalder has previously worked in archaeology. He now uses his knowledge of scanning locations for the VR startup.

But of course Finsterwalder is also thinking about monetization. Product placement is a recipe:” That you see a product quite by chance”, so revenue could be generated. Or through a so-called freemium model. Then only a part of the places would be free, for certain experiences the users could have to pay admission. Currently, the entire offer is free of charge.

Startup Location Berlin

The headquarters of Realities is officially still in the USA, but their app is driven forward by Sproll and Finsterwalder from Berlin, a large office in a coworking space in Neukölln offers space for desks and radius of action for virtual walks between the sensors of the VR installation. The rents are cheaper than in Silicon Valley, the startup scene in the capital also offers the right environment.

Next challenge: growth. In order to be able to offer even more virtual places, Realities wants to enter into cooperation and even encourage end customers to participate and upload suitable photo collections. “Our long-term goal is that everyone can create such 3D locations,” explains David Finsterwalder. Thus, an atlas could be created from many exciting experiences worldwide.

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