REAL Conversations on Reality Computing: Modern Day Indiana Jones

As the youngest of Leakey fossil-hunters, Louise has been true to her family legacy with her adventurous spirit, ambitious research, and unwavering focus on the advancement of science and our understanding of human origins and evolution.

Louise recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of London, and now heads the Koobi Fora Research Project. With her characteristic vigor she is currently working to transform the Koobi Fora Research Camp into a year-round research station on the shores of Lake Turkana. Through a rigorous process of searching, excavation, paleoecological and geological analysis, and a little bit of paleoanthropological intuition, Louise, along with Meave, has precisely pinpointed regions within the 1200 square kilometer area of East Turkana that will most likely produce the answers to questions raised about this critical period in human evolution.

In anticipation of her upcoming talk at the REAL 2015 event in San Francisco, we asked Louise a few questions about the future of 3D technology.  Here’s what he said:

Where do you think 3D technology will be in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?

This is an almost impossible question to answer other than I expect to say "Wow" on many more occasions over the next decade. 3D printing, reality capture and scanning are all advancing in unprecedented ways. These will be exciting years ahead.  

What is the biggest opportunity for 3D technology?

From a historical and pre-historical perspective, 3D technology provides a unique tool to record in detail artifacts, sites and monuments that are degrading due to neglect- this would have been unthinkable in the past. For the developing world without access to expensive laser scanning equipment, photogrammetry as a means digital capture, I personally feel, is one of the biggest opportunities that we have to record the past, captured by the crowd or otherwise. 

What's your take on Reality Computing?

My take is that we capture the real world, make it into data and then do things with this including pushing it back into the real world again but with some neat software in between. 

What will you be talking about at REAL?

I will be talking about the digital capture of the prehistoric collections and sites that have been found in Kenya that tell us about human origins and our past and how we have been able to share this online at This has been possible with the support and expertise of the Autodesk Reality Capture team. 

To hear Louise speak in person, join us at REAL 2015.