I’m in Milan with Designer Tom Dixon, Virtually

By Kate

fred at milan furniture fair1This morning Fred Vacher contacted me from the Milan Furniture Fair.  Where Fred is, 3D is, so I was curious to see what was in his zip attachment.

Seems Fred has been helping furniture designer Tom Dixon add some 3D and virtual to his stand.

If you’d like to check out Tom’s designs and stand virtually, and, hey, maybe even bump into Virtual Tom, try out his public 3DVIA Scenes for free.  I’ve embedded it further down in this post.

This is Fred and Tom.


This is a design in Tom’s new Industry collection.

Tom Dixon_Milan_Peg Chair

This is the same design in 3DVIA Scenes.

Tom Dixon-Virtual-Milan-Peg-Chair1

This is me broswing Tom’s collection virtually.


virtual milan 1*

Addendum: I received some feedback that the way I sized the embedded scene “Virtual Milan” limited the virtual experience, so to replace the embedded scene, I’ve added a hyperlink to the full deal on 3dvia.com.  Please click on the image above to visit the scene.

Some Virtual Milan tips from my maiden voyage:

  • Opt for the Virtual Tour (let’s you zoom into the collection bits without stumbling around)
  • Move one click at a time (will help you avoid wall collisions, etc.)
  • Use your mouse to click on designs you like (will give you model information; name, specs, etc.)

If Fred can stop drinking Italian espressos and admiring all that furniture design, I may have some more “live” footage for you.  (Sorry Fred; I’m just jealous you’re there and I’m not.)

So, do you like Tom’s new collection?  I like the Mirror Ball Lights the best.  Et vous?



P.S. Fred tells me Tom designs in SolidWorks and then imports to 3dvia.com.  Which, BTW, if you’re in the US or UK, you can download Tom’s models from mydeco.com, try, then buy.

P.P.S  I do NOT get a commission for any Tom Dixon models sold on 3dvia.com.  Darn!

AR Tags All Over Your Living Room: Laval Virtual Day 3

By Kate
Image by David Arenou

Image by David Arenou

Ok so I’m kind of cheating.  I’m not live blogging from Laval Virtual today, but yesterday just before catching my train I had such a great time playing Immersive Rail Shooting that I had to share.

Immersive Rail Shooting is a shooter video game that, through a collection of AR tags you wear and place on your furniture, pulls you and your living space into the gameplay.  The set-up is elegant, using a Wiimote and your regular living room stuff.   Think laser tag.

I visited the stand in the congested student competition section of Laval Virtual, but even in such tight quarters, I was able to really get into the game.  Thanks VR Geek Sebastien and Algoriste Xavier to having tipped me off to this refreshing student creation!

Student and interactive designer David Arenou is the genius behind Immersive Rail Shooting.  Check out his video that shows it in action.

Bravo David to a job well done; I look forward to experiencing your next creation!

So, what do you think about this?

Bon weekend,


Dangerous Immersive Virtuality: Laval Virtual Day 2

By Kate


If you could put all the odds on your side to execute a dangerous task without incident, would you?  Of course you would!  But would it be your reflex to look to your computer and an interactive 3D application to accomplish this?  Probably not.  Yet.

The problem with dangerous situations is that you can’t really simulate them in real-life without mobilizing lots of resources and, well um, risking your safety.  First Aid courses taught with lifelike dummies can give you a lifelike situation in real life, without the risk, and efficiently help you learn your stuff.  But when you digress to scenarios like tight rope walking over a lava pit, or more seriously cleaning up toxic waste, you quickly realize there’s nothing more serious than a near-life simulation.

Through a research project destined to push the limits of 3D immersive training, partners Emissive, CEA and UTC Research are building an interesting training program for gasoline truck drivers.

Unlike when you or I fill’er up at the gas station, the gasoline truck drivers risk their lives each time they do the same.  The possibilities for accidents abound.  For example explosions can ignite with something so minimal as static electricity in your hair.  If you have a leak, what to do?  Etc.,etc.

Emissive has a stand at Laval Virtual this year, so I was able to sneak in a chat with Fabien and Emmanuel about VS3 (Virtual reality for Safe Seveso Subcontractors).  Here’s a look at the early work:

YouTube Preview Image

I look forward to see how this project progresses, and especially to see how the test with the truck drivers goes.  Normally you don’t associate immersive virtuality and 3D with gasoline truck drivers, but in our brave new world, these types of serious game applications for a non-geek public, I predict, will become commonplace.

What do you think about V3S?

Signing off from Laval Virtual 2010,


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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.