Faith Tangara
Content Writer
State of Laser Scanning: Visual Twin vs Digital Twin

State of Laser Scanning: Visual Twin vs Digital Twin

Visual Twin and Digital Twin are two terms that have recently gained prominence in the realm of laser scanning and reality capture. While they may sound similar, they serve distinct purposes in construction and engineering.

  1. Visual Twin platforms, such as Holobuilder and Evercam, are designed to provide a visual representation of construction site progress. These platforms focus on delivering immediate visual context to facilitate decision-making without the need for extensive data analysis.
  2. The concept of a Digital Twin has been circulating for some time. Initially associated with product lifecycle management (PLM) by Dr. Michael Greaves, it has a broader connotation. Digital Twins encompass comprehensive digital replicas of physical assets, combining various data sources, including 3D models, sensor data, and more. They offer a holistic view for monitoring, analysis, and simulation of assets.

The Evolution of Technology in Construction

Before diving into the specifics of Visual Twins and Digital Twins, it’s crucial to acknowledge the transformative journey technology has made in the construction industry. The integration of laser scanning, 360-degree cameras, mobile mapping, handheld solutions, and terrestrial LiDAR scanning has changed how professionals capture and utilise data on construction sites.

Visual Twin platforms like Holobuilder and Evercam offer immediate visual context, simplifying early-stage site understanding in construction. 360-degree photos provide a comprehensive view for assessing site complexity. They enable quick data consumption, streamlining decision-making for early project assessments.


In construction tech, focus on project needs, tool selection, and digital toolkit expansion drives industry growth. Efficient tool use and insights from professionals optimise tech benefits. Visual Twins integrates diverse data, transforming construction practices and enhancing decision-making at all project stages. Data democratisation via platforms like Sphere and Evercam ensures real-time information access for effective project management and collaboration.

Unlocking the Potential of Fixed Live Feed Cameras

Fixed live feed cameras in construction technology, traditionally used for security and safety monitoring, were viewed as passive observers. They captured periodic footage primarily for incident resolution. However, experts now recognize their potential beyond security, seeing them as valuable for data fusion and analysis when combined with other datasets.

Construction camera on site

Previously, project progress was captured with photos every 10 minutes, leaving gaps in data collection where important events could be missed. Modern solutions like Evercam address this by capturing frames every five to ten seconds, providing real-time live footage. This proves crucial for incident response and quality control, ensuring nothing significant is overlooked on construction sites.

Data Fusion for Enhanced Value

Data is at the core of this transformation. The true power of construction technology lies in data fusion. It brings together diverse datasets, including fixed live feed footage, 360 photos, 3D scans, drone imagery, BIM models, and more. This convergence creates a comprehensive and multi-dimensional view of construction projects.

Dtone footage for construction management
Drone footage for construction management

By harnessing collective datasets, professionals derive enhanced value beyond theft prevention in construction. It’s now about optimising operations, improving safety, managing projects efficiently, and making informed decisions throughout the project lifecycle.  

The Power of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is vital for analysing vast reality capture data. AI algorithms detect anomalies and offer insights into potential problem areas, boosting safety and project efficiency in construction, covering structures from bridges to buildings. Although concerns exist about disrupting traditional labour, AI is seen as an enhancement to existing processes, automating repetitive tasks while skilled craftsmanship remains essential for intricate jobs like ductwork installation. AI optimises workflows, reduces errors, and enhances productivity. It complements human expertise, allowing construction professionals to concentrate on tasks demanding their skills.

Visual Twin vs Digital Twin
Construction technology concept.

Accuracy, Productivity, and Time Savings:

Ultimately, the success of any construction technology lies in its ability to provide accuracy, enhance productivity, and save time. The industry’s adoption of these tools should always be viewed through the lens of whether they contribute to these fundamental goals. Whether it’s through laser scanning, 360-degree photos, or other innovative solutions, the aim is to make construction more efficient, precise, and streamlined.

The Shifting Role of Sales Professionals

In this evolving landscape, sales professionals are transforming into trusted advisors. Rather than focusing solely on selling products, they are collaborating with clients to understand their unique needs and goals. This client-centric approach involves tailoring solutions to meet specific objectives, fostering partnerships, and ensuring clients derive maximum value from available technology.

Agreement at construction site

The Future of Reality Capture

As reality capture technology continues to advance, its integration with other datasets and AI-driven analytics promises to further transform industries. This holistic approach will enable more efficient planning, reduce costly errors, and provide invaluable insights into project success and failures.

Reality capture technology is poised to transform construction by capturing live data, democratising information, and using AI to address regional challenges. ensuring project success in our data-driven world. To unlock its full potential, users must deeply understand the collected data, akin to how sophisticated estimating software requires a deep understanding of the construction process.

Paving the Way Forward

Looking ahead, the consensus is on the need for collaboration and open platforms. By working closely with industry partners, construction technology providers aim to create an ecosystem where different technologies seamlessly complement one another. The goal is to boost the accuracy and speed of reality capture while simplifying the integration of various data sources for construction teams in the field.

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This blog is an extension of the BIM Heroes Podcast hosted by Cody Whitelock, a virtual construction manager at Barnhill Contracting in the US in conjunction with Evercam Construction Cameras. Tune in for more informative and interesting conversations on construction, digitization and technology adoption in the industry

Kip Ivey – Senior Business Development Manager for Faro Technologies: Kip’s diverse background, from sheet metal work to computer science, makes him a unique voice in the industry. He has witnessed the evolution of technology in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry for over two decades.

Anton Marinovich – Vice President of Sales at Evercam: Anton’s journey has taken him from construction to the tech world. He played a crucial role in the development of Holobuilder, a construction progress management tool, before joining Evercam. His experience bridges the gap between the physical and digital aspects of construction.