From September 11th to 13th, 2019, NavVis invited partners from around the world to its annual summit in Munich. Over three days, both at NavVis premises and at the Isarpost, a superb event space in Munich, NavVis partners and clients were given the opportunity to participate in conferences and exchange ideas on use cases, best practices and opportunities related to 3D mapping and digital twins. Spun off the TÜM (Technical University of Munich) in 2013, the company has since grown from four co-founders to approximately 200 employees and an international presence in New York and Shanghai, thanks to a combined funding of 44 million euros. An important part of its success undoubtedly relies on the internal culture, which you immediately aknowledge as soon as you arrive at the premises and are greeted with a large smile by all NavVis employees.

As the first French partner of NavVis, LevelS3D was invited to this event, with roughly a hundred other 3D scanning experts from around the world, and around forty specialists of digital transition in the industry. NavVis relies on a network of partners, each of whom has acquired one or more M6 scanning trolleys enabling them to digitize buildings. Once the building has been scanned, the IndoorViewer software suite provides access to the digital twin, point cloud format or high-definition navigable photos.

The NavVis M6-1 trolley and the digital twin as accessed in the IndoorViewer

The event began with a series of lectures, initiated by a long keynote by Felix Reinshagen, founding CEO of the company. He aknowledged the progress made during the past year, since the last summit, both in terms of growth for NavVis (in number of partners, international implementation, financing and ambitions) and in terms of development of hardware and software products. He also mentioned LevelS3D twice: first, for one of our flagship projects, the digitization of the République Metro station in Paris, which even the NavVis teams were not sure we would be able to do given the constraints of the place. And secondly, through a picture of our team during one of the latest LevelS3D scans, the Gabriel Voisin high school in Troyes, which has the characteristic of having been digitized inside and outside with a drone operator partner, Drone Development.

Afterwards, interventions focused either on technological innovations or different use cases of NavVis offers. Regarding commercial approach, NavVis teams emphasized on several points:

  • The biggest opportunities for the digital twin need to be prioritized with regard to clients RoI. We all agree that the most valuable opportunities rely in digital factory stakes. NavVis is therefore committed to investing in both products and partnerships to address these issues and position itself as a global leader. At LevelS3D, we also get prepared to offer the best technological solutions to our large industrial customers;
  • As part of its international development, NavVis is structured in « Pods », which consist in a team of three persons for each country where there are NavVis partners: a partner relations manager, a technical manager, and a key account manager. We rely on this close-knit team to continually improve the added value deployed to our customers;
  • The summit is also an opportunity to share with the network of partners the best practices and the most interesting use cases for our customers.

2 LevelS3D references mentioned by Dr. Felix Reinshagen: the République metro station in Paris and Gabriel Voisin high school in Troyes

Hence, three conferences detailing concrete use cases were extremely well attended and appreciated. In the construction sector, the LiRo Group in New York mapped about 100 buildings in just six months; this demonstrates the M6 ​trolley’s ability to digitize large areas, up to 12,000 m2 per day. As for the industry sector, two conferences by NavVis’ German customers, Daimler and Henkel, demonstrated the digital twin’s ability to become a solution generating significant productivity gains. At Daimler, the digital twin of each plant is accessible to every employee, allowing the sharing of best practices and collaboration between all of the automotive giant’s sites. At Henkel, advanced smart factory solutions have been introduced, powered by the NavVis ecosystem, and capable of dramatically increasing the agility of plants during scaleup periods. This consists in addressing in a transverse manner the different drivers of the plant’s performance, from resource inventory, process documentation, to after-sales service, through demand management and time-to-market scenarios. At the end of this day, a party gathered even attendees, allowing successful discussions between participants in a more festive context.

On Friday, new conferences were offered, as well as individual exchanges with NavVis teams to dive deeper in certain technical, marketing or commercial topics. As for us, we used this moment to discuss with the NavVis indoor navigation teams. Actually, we have had the opportunity to develop indoor GPS applications for two customers (an institution and a transport operator). The innovative feature of NavVis technologies is that, unlike competing technologies, this application does not require the deployment of a dedicated infrastructure but determines the location and orientation of the user through visual localization, ie by comparing the photos taken by the smartphone during the user’s move with the pictures of the digital twin. NavVis teams have openly shared their roadmap and the next functional improvements to their location system with us. No disclosing, but be prepared to see innovations in indoor GPS applications in the first quarter of 2020!

Want to discover  NavVis summit ? Look at the video