The rumors are true. Sean Higgins, former SPAR 3D editor and a trusted voice in the growing 3D-tech community, has joined the team at Paracosm. Sean will head up our content efforts, spending his days filling up our blog and newsletter with in-depth educational articles about 3D capture technology and stories about the amazing things that people are accomplishing with the PX-80 handheld LiDAR scanner. We have Sean on full retainer, so keep an eye out because that kind of content is just the start.
To mark his first day, I asked Sean a few questions about why he joined our team, why it’s such an exciting time for 3D-capture technology, and how he’s feeling about his new role in the 3D landscape.
Julie: As editor of SPAR3D.com, you covered the 3D technology industry for about five years. After all that time, what brings you over to the vendor side?
Sean: This is a true story, I swear: I remember meeting a small crew from Paracosm at the 2014 ESRI UC in San Diego—my very first conference as editor of SPAR—and being very impressed with your unconventional approach to 3D capture. I left thinking, “wow, wouldn’t it be great to work for a company like that?”
Since then, I’ve been encouraged by how Paracosm challenges the accepted wisdom in the market to make sure its customers are getting the kinds of products they need. I figured if I was going to jump ship and work for a vendor, I may as well work for one that looks primed to disrupt the industry (I know, I know…) and really make a name for itself.
Julie: You’ve mentioned before that you think 3D-capture technology is entering an exciting new stage. What do you mean by that?
Sean: When I started covering the market five years ago, a majority of the 3D-scanning hardware and software options were intended for surveyors. They were designed to optimize accuracy, and very often that made them too complex and expensive for most people. The technology had a lot of promise, but the options were pretty limiting for most people.
Devices like the PX-80 are emblematic of a sea change in the industry. It’s built to emphasize a balance of affordability and ease of use. It offers enough accuracy to get a pretty wide variety of jobs done, but it doesn’t emphasize accuracy to the detriment of the other factors that are important to users.
That’s a big deal for non-surveyors, but it’s great for surveyors too. It means we’re entering a time when theoretically just about anyone can generate a good quality 3D scan and use the data. It means we’re going to see a lot of new applications for 3D capture in the near future, as users explore what’s possible with handheld scanning. We probably can’t even imagine some of these applications right now, and that’s really exciting to me.
Julie: So, what are you hoping to accomplish in this new role? Are you going to miss the SPAR community?
Sean: I’ll definitely miss having a daily dialogue with the SPAR audience. But it’s not all sad news. I know that I’ll be seeing most of my friends on the show circuit, and I mean to use my role at Paracosm to keep serving that same community with meaningful content about the technology we all know and love. I may not be a web editor anymore, but I will still be using my expertise and experience to produce the kind of irreverent and educational writing I’ve made my name on.
Julie: In case you didn’t already know, you’re joining a hardcore group of nerds. We’d all like to know: what is the single nerdiest thing about you?
Sean: I’d like to say something that’s secretly really cool, like that I once repaired a motorcycle over the course of a summer. (See what I did there?) In all honesty, though, I’d probably have to say the nerdiest thing about me is that I spent a full two-year master’s program researching and writing 60 pages about sound art, French philosophy, old recording technologies, and noise. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Julie: When you’re not writing about 3D stuff, what do you like to do in your free time?
Sean: Being a good Mainer, I like to hike, cycle, and spend as much time outdoors as the weather allows, usually with a film camera in hand. I also love to cook and collect records, so you’ll often find me elbows deep in a pile of chopped vegetables or thumbing through a rack of punk vinyl looking for something really noisy to bug the neighbors with. Oh, and I’m a huge fan of a good nap.
Julie: Last silly question! What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Sean: I used to butcher “Purple Rain,” but I finally accepted that I’m not a very good singer and settled on “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind. You could be tone-deaf and still pull that song off, as long as you can talk loud and fast enough!
Okay, friends — that’s a wrap. Sean is officially a Spaceparakeet! To stay up to date with Sean’s musings, subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t already. Also, if you missed his last interview with Amir on the Myth of Accuracy in 3D Capture, you can find it on SPAR3D.com.