Mercia EIS Funds

Digital survey specialist secures £250k funding to further develop its VR software

L-r: Ben Bennett, Ian Wilson, Henry Bennett

A Newcastle business which specialises in 3D digital technology has secured a £250,000 investment from Mercia Fund Managers to enhance the development of its revolutionary new software solution.

Luminous Group has pioneered the use of 3D in sectors including architecture and construction. It offers digital surveys which use laser scanning to capture every surface of a building or structure, and can record measurements, identify damage and produce detailed 3D models.

Its new software RIVO combines 3D with the latest mixed reality holographic computer hardware. RIVO could revolutionise asset management in sectors such as offshore energy or marine shipping where companies need to keep track of structures such as oil rigs, refineries, wind turbines or military installations which are often in remote or inaccessible locations. It could also enhance fire safety surveys, by drawing up critical information in real time, for example on emergency evacuation points or fire routes.

RIVO package uses Microsoft’s ‘Inside Out’ tracking, which brings together the best of virtual and augmented reality. It is accessed using a Microsoft HoloLens headset for the user.

Luminous Group was founded in 1988 by former mining surveyor Peter Bennett, now Chairman. The company, which also has an office in London, employs 10 staff headed by Peter’s sons Ben, Managing Director, and Henry, Operations Director.

Ian Wilson, Fund Manager with Mercia Fund Managers in the North East, said:

“Luminous Group has been at the forefront of surveying and measurement since its inception and has pioneered new ways to scan and model buildings. Its new software is another step forward and could offer huge cost savings for clients, for example by allowing them to demonstrate large items of equipment remotely, recreate environments for training purposes and manage remote plant and equipment in a more efficient way. RIVO has already attracted strong interest from clients and this funding will allow the company to further enhance the product and build its management team.”