For my design job I use a $2,000 Leica Geosystems laser to measure interior and exterior spaces. It's an amazing tool, but it can be fiddly, and it requires I do detailed drawings of the space first, so I have a place to scribble the numbers down.
My approach is fine for residential, but it's not viable for workers who have to measure vast industrial or commercial spaces, like factories, airports or shopping malls. A company called Radius Innovation & Development has designed a brilliant system that meets their needs, and it's not a handheld laser. It's a helmet you wear on your head.
Called REscan, the helmet essentially has the array of cameras and lasers that self-driving cars do, just up on your dome. Best of all, it's hands-free, so you can carry things, open doors, take notes, sketch, etc. as you're scanning and capturing.
"We capture indoor and outdoor locations as fast as you can walk through them. No need to shut down or empty spaces, our software automatically excludes people from the scans," the company writes.
"One person can capture up to 250,000 sq.ft. per hour while navigating stairs, opening doors, fitting into high street shops, and capturing industrial spaces."
One downside is that you've got to wear these dorky smart glasses that pair with the helment. They let you know if you're in an area that still needs to be scanned or if you've already covered it.
The company's technology turns the captured scans into detailed 3D models, and the demo looks pretty stunning: