Real Earth Wins Microsoft Competition for 3D Mapping and Localization

PITTSBURGH, PA and MORGAN HILL, CA - Real Earth secured first place in Microsoft’s Indoor Localization Competition recently held in Vienna, Austria. Real Earth achieved the top ranking through their algorithms embedded in their STENCIL product. It was the only product to perform real time indoor localization without the use of infrastructure. In addition to having efficient algorithms, Real Earth’s success is due in part to use of the VLP-16 real-time 3D LiDAR sensor from Velodyne LiDAR, the worldwide leader in the development of real-time, 3D LiDAR sensors. The Microsoft competition continues to validate Real Earth's technology as the best-in-class and most accurate real-time mapping and localization solution.

The Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition is a well-known annual benchmark for assessing many approaches to indoor localization. The purpose of the competition was to bring together real-time indoor location technologies and compare their performance in the same space. The competition had nearly 50 competitors in 2D and the more challenging 3D category.

Each team had 15 minutes to locate 15 markers throughout the evaluation area, the foyer of a large facility in Vienna. All results were compared to ground truth that was measured from a stationary terrestrial laser scanner. The competition was challenging because the venue was dynamic with many people moving throughout the space.

Real Earth was the only team to not rely on infrastructure in the 3D category and used only onboard sensors to provide localization. At the completion of the competition, the results showed Real Earth’s device to have the most accurate localization with 0.16-meter average error compared to ground truth.

Real Earth will continue to build on the success of this competition by developing and improving software, algorithms, and products to produce the most accurate and reliable mapping and localization solutions for customers. Customers currently include automotive companies, construction companies, utilities and many others who need questions answered quickly, accurately and at the point of work.

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