Home > Latest   +   Technology + Innovation

Point Cloud Processing on macOS

Point Cloud Processing on macOS

PointCab releases its Origins software for evaluating LIDAR point clouds on macOS

Apple has become a synonym for good design. So it’s no wonder that Apple’s devices are in high demand among designers and architects. However, especially in the LIDAR sector, where more and more designers, architects, and real estate companies are entering the field, the predominant operating system is still Windows. As Apple has integrated a lidar sensor in their latest device it can be expected that Apple will be part of capturing the world in 3D in the coming years. To keep up with the expected demand, software manufacturer PointCab decided to take the lead and release the first commercial software for comprehensive LIDAR point cloud processing on macOS. While software like Arena 4D Studio Professional already offer point cloud visualization, they do not provide the manipulation capabilities that Origins offers.

Their Origins software for macOS works almost identically to its Windows counterpart. It can read all open laser scanning formats and its results are compatible with all prevalent CAD software. However, since some hardware and software providers do not supply their own macOS solutions yet, they also don’t have a SDK readily available to allow PointCab’s software to read their native formats.

Nevertheless, PointCab co-founder and CEO Dr. Richard Steffen is confident some of the industry will follow soon: “For quite some time now we’ve been playing with the idea to make Origins available for macOS. We’ve seen CloudCompare doing a great job with their open-source software for macOS and expected commercial hardware and software manufacturers to follow soon. Since our software is known for its great inter-compatibility, we hoped for other manufacturers to take the lead and then port their format SDK to macOS. After we renewed the whole structure of our software with our Origins 4.0 version we thought there’s no better time to work on a macOS version. We finally decided to take matters into our own hands and not to wait around any more. We’ve reached out to other manufacturers to make their format SDKs available and were mostly received in kind. RIEGL for example was one of the first to respond and is in contact with our developers as we speak. It seems like the compatibility with macOS is in the back of everyone’s minds but since most other players in the industry rely on Windows it never makes top priority. Honestly, it was very much the same for us and if we hadn’t released our Windows 4.0 version, we still might not have a macOS version. As a software provider that relies on compatibility with other manufacturers, it’s a gamble to put our resources towards a less prevalent operating system. Only the future can tell if we’ve made the right bet covering this niche market. So far, we’ve received a lot of interest, especially from CAD users that work on macOS. We hope that us making the first move as a commercial provider will inspire others to do the same.

So far, PointCab’s Origins software has been tested successfully on macOS Big Sur 11, Catalina 10.15, and Mojave 10.14. In terms of hardware, it works on any Apple computer with an Intel-based processor (x64). PointCab also announced that the compatibility for the latest Apple M1 ARM-based Chip will follow with the next updates.

As with its Windows version, the Origins software does not require high-performance hardware components to run smoothly. As demonstrated in their preview webinar on May 27th a Mini Mac with 8GB RAM already does the trick.

More information about the software and the free trial version can be found on the PointCab website.