22 May 2019
sponsored by RIFT R&D
Crofton Cloud Chamber
Crofton Cloud Chamber is a reality capture application for augmented reality (AR) smartphones. It places the power of a traditional laser scanner into a smartphone at a cost that is affordable to all. It opens up the possibility of more accurate data capture and validation becoming part of the daily workflow, helping to drive the adoption of virtual design and construction.
Cloud Chamber has the potential to significantly change the market place for data capture, placing the power of a laser scanner in the hands of operatives within the construction supply chain, driving disruption and new ways of working.
With phones now able to sense the 3D environment, they can capture useful data for the industry. They filed their patent in 2016, hoping to be the first to gain intellectual property protection for it. They believe they have created a great feature: the ability to capture the 3D environment without any additional hardware at a very low cost.
Impact on business
Crofton's business is beginning to benefit from a new business model selling the products and services derived from this research on a subscription basis. They have established a new business entity ‘Eng Pa’ to exploit the underlying technology with an exclusive license and are attracting significant venture capital investment into this entity. This investment is driving further development of the product and helping them to establish robust marketing plans to encourage widespread adoption and provides a mechanism for Crofton to benefit financially through licensing fees supporting further R&D projects.
This product has given Crofton valuable insights into the product development lifecycle. The additional income generated by this initiative is re-invested into their R&D team, with the aim to elevate themselves from a business that deploys tested solutions to a research-lead business at the forefront of the government Digital Built Britain initiative.
Construction professional services is a mature, low-margin, commoditised market that suffers from the cyclical nature of the construction sector and requires a significant capital expenditure for expansion overseas. By creating a new and innovative income stream, they can protect themselves from the impact of the traditional high peaks and troughs of the construction sector. By developing their intellectual property, Crofton has been able to start selling their products and services into overseas markets. Using this method of developing solutions in-house and creating a marketable product has given Crofton access to the global marketplace without the prohibitive need for capital expenditure.
For more details:
The SECBE 2019 Innovation Award is sponsored by RIFT R&D.