Case Study: Structure Sensor

In search of ideal users for Occipital’s innovative 3D sensing camera for mobile devices.

Occipital, a software startup based in San Francisco, created the world's first 3D sensing camera for mobile devices. The product, called Structure Sensor, allows users to scan interior spaces, people, and objects with additional augmented reality capabilities.

Surprisingly, there have been few apps developed for the Structure Sensor, which raised the question, “Who is really going to use this?”. Programmers we spoke to just couldn't see an industry investment opportunity in developing an application for the product.

My team was given three weeks to research and identify potential users in an industry vertical that would find the most value in Structure Sensor.


— Industry Research
— User Interviewing
— Mindmapping


Oriane Daley
Sylvia Kim
Vik Kudesia

1. Understand

Our first week consisted of purely research. We wanted to understand the users, their behavior, needs and pains, of our proposed industries for this product.

2. Diverge

The second week our team diverged and interviewed various industry experts and professionals. Some of our industries included Film, Education, and Tech while our professionals ranged anywhere from programmers, architects, and wedding professionals to assistant directors, construction superintendents, and electrical engineers.

3. Converge

Once everyone completed their interviews, we regrouped and spent several days mindmapping each industry to find the greatest use case for the Structure Sensor.

Chosen Industry: Film

We postulated that the film vertical would find the most value using the Structure Sensor. Not only is the film industry open to adapting new technology but there’s a high ROI from multiple departments collaboratively using the product. Furthermore, there’s a large breadth of different users who depend on one another in getting their jobs done.


People in the film industry need a better way to collaborate.

LOCATION SCOUT: Communicating
“Photos, drawings, and descriptions aren’t enough to capture scale accurately. I need a better way to communicate the true potential of a site or location.”

“Waiting for set pieces to be built and installed before even getting confirmation that a design works as intended costs us time and money. I need a way to test pieces before they get built.”

“Taking literally a thousand photos is time consuming and difficult to organize. I need a better way to track the start and end positions of actors and props.”

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Location Scout

General Use Case Scenario
A location scout visits a potential film site and captures a 3D scan of the overall space.

Set Designer

General Use Case Scenario
Once a site is determined, the Set Designer uses a 3D rendering as a virtual environment to map out a set.

Assistant Director

General Use Case Scenario
The Assistant Director uses the floor plan to track background actors, keep public off set, and document movement.


— Explore Structure sensor as a collaboration tool
— Send sensors to make up artists, set designers, and location scouts
— Create built-in feature for testing that records users’ feelings during use