Takashi Hirabayashi, Representative Officer of SITESENSING, Inc.
SITESENSING, Inc. (Chiyoda City)
SITESENSING, Inc. was founded in June 2012 aided by the AIST Innovation Center for Start-ups under National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The company’s major business is related to measurement and its name, meaning “on-site measuring,” represents its operations.
It is currently working on 3 criteria: Face Grapher, software for face recognition and demography detection, PDR+ for detecting indoor moves of human and objects, and 3D Modeling Service for developing 3D models. Centering on the 3D Modeling Service, an approved product by 2015 Tokyo Trial Ordering Systems and deemed as a trigger for SITESENSING to make a leap forward, we interviewed representative officer Takashi Hirabayashi.
“There are more than 120 start-ups having started businesses helped by AIST’s venture support. Each is developing its business through R&Ds based on technology seeds developed by AIST. Out of 3 products/services we have been working on, the closest to actual business is 3D Modeling Service.”
The best-known 3D modeling related business is 3D CAD (software which draws objects by combining dots, lines and faces in a 3D space and is known for its applications to designing and drafting for industrial products and constructions). But the unique feature of the service developed by SITESENSING is far beyond conventional 3D CAD, realizing faster, cheaper, finer and easier-to-handle data offered to clients.
“Our 3D Modeling Service can 3D-model various facilities and constructions and show these as demonstration visuals to consumers. Our staffs go and take pictures of actual facilities and constructions with digital cameras. Then we make 3D models with these photos using our proprietary software.”
The cost for some 150 square meter residence, for example, is around \50,000 with about 1 day for the delivery and data volume of 20MB. This means they realized a significant cost reduction, or roughly a digit cheaper, and quicker delivery than conventional 3D CAD. Qualities of pictures taken with ordinary digital cameras for our 3D models are reasonable thanks to high functionalities of recent digital cameras. They can add a process of eliminating furniture and other objects in pictures. Recently, it appears condo sellers upload these 3D models to their websites for virtual previews and condo management firms use them as 3D model data for rooms they manage.
“After winning the Tokyo Trial Ordering Systems certificate, the service has been evolving. By the end of 2015, anybody who takes our lectures and learns ways of photographing and matters taken care of is enabled to make 3D models with not photos taken with digital cameras but moving pictures taken with video cameras. Another break-through I believe was we enabled 3D models with digital camera pictures of views from tall building windows. As this kind of views is crucial in determining values of condos and facilities, we expect the real estate industry would appreciate this technology.”
A picture created by patching photos taken with digital cameras (top). A 3D model of a residence floor created with the 3D Modeling Service (bottom).
“Having developed and materialized the fine service is truly thanks to our location in Tokyo,” says Representative Director Hirabayashi.
“Tokyo is a place physically easy for us to get clients‘ feedbacks and to visit clients and exhibitions as well. In particular, there are many ‘decision makers’ facilitating quick decisions which help proceed with speedy manufacturing. It of course is a huge and rich consumer market for products and services but true attraction of Tokyo is in a broad sense a market where appropriate opinions are formed. Concretely speaking, in addition to usual customers, there are many rival peers, advanced users, industry bodies, journalist, visionaries and others, creating environments similar to Silicon Valley’s. Competing in such a place where we are exposed to valuation, criticism and reprimand in a good sense, we can grow as a company.”
Photo: SITESENSING also offers other products and services. PDR+ which measures indoor movements of human or objects (left) and Face Grapher, software enabling face recognition and demography detection (right).
SITESENSING has received subsidies from various bodies including Tokyo Next Generation Innovation Creation Project and Tokyo Metropolitan Small Business Promotion Agency. These mean not only financial advantages but additional merits derived from them.
“These bodies and Tokyo publicize ‘such companies are granted for subsidies in fiscal year X, helping third parties who learned this evaluate us. In fact, after we received these subsidies, we got contacts from companies and media we before had no business with, which has widened our networks.”
The approval of Tokyo Trial Ordering Systems itself has of course expanded the company’s business opportunities. Tokyo gave us an order for making 3D models of Tokyo Budoh-Kan, we have been invited to exhibit our products in exhibitions held by industry networking bodies, and many people became aware of our 3D Modeling Service. It is highly likely the year 2016 will be a time for SITESENSING to leap out.
Photo: SITESENSING products and services won a variety of awards. Top: Certificate of Tokyo Trial Ordering Systems (3D Modeling Service). Left below: Location Business Japan 2015 Award of Excellence (PDR+). Right below: Microsoft Innovation Award 2015 Award of Excellence (Face Grapher).