Hexagon AB, a global leader in digital reality solutions combining sensor, software, and autonomous technologies, has acquired LocLab – a company whose proprietary technology, enabled by a high degree of automation using proven workflows and artificial intelligence, allows the cost- and time-efficient creation of digital twins. This is Hexagon’s second major investment in the past month, the first of which was the recent investment of $100 million in Divergent Technologies.
LocLab’s in-house-developed toolchain can leverage several data input formats to balance speed, cost, and accuracy – such as terrestrial videogrammetry, survey data, and point clouds – but only requires photographs or videos. Videogrammetry is a highly scalable method used when survey accuracy is not needed, and speed is preferred. Whether creating 3D models of machines, buildings and manufacturing facilities, or large-scale areas such as transportation networks or entire cities, the AI software compares detected objects with LocLab’s vast object library of 3D elements (street objects, building components, rail equipment, etc) to semi-automate the creation of a semantically-enriched 3D model (adding context and descriptive elements).
“We continue to advance the utility and potential of the digital twin. We call it the Smart Digital Reality,” said Ola Rollén, President and CEO of Hexagon. “Like any digital twin, it provides an intuitive 3D hub for data management and information. But it has traits not always associated with digital twins: it’s data-rich, kept up to date in real-time, and workflow-driven, making it seamlessly accessible. And most importantly, it’s autonomously intelligent, meaning it can implement physical world actions independent of human intervention.”
“The foundation of any smart digital reality is the underlying 3D model. If not already part of one of our solutions or readily available via our content program, it can be time and resource-intensive to create,” said Ola Rollén. “LocLab’s semi-automated modeling process with AI-based object recognition from video data and its enormous library of 3D digital content offers tremendous time savings and cost efficiencies.”
The acquisition strengthens Hexagon’s ability to make the Smart Digital Reality more accessible to new and existing customers while providing LocLab’s customers with a proven platform for hosting, sharing, and keeping 3D digital twins up to date.
“The integration of LocLab’s 3D digital content with HxDR, our cloud-based storage, visualization, and collaboration platform, will drive HxDR’s expansion as a leading digital reality platform within transportation, construction, urban planning, and many other industries,” said Ola Rollén. “Altogether, LocLab’s capabilities nicely complement our leading reality capture and software portfolio while also offering LocLab global scalability opportunities through our expansive sales and partner network.”
Headquartered in Germany, LocLab serves some of the world’s largest transportation, construction, and design consultant companies. LocLab will operate as part of Hexagon’s Geosystems division. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. The acquisition has no significant impact on Hexagon’s earnings.