Live from Laval Virtual Day 1: R-Screen

By Kate

Hi! I’m blogging from Laval Virtual, and as I type I can hear a virtual cat meowing. There’s lots of fun and crazy stuff going on over here, but today I wanted to highlight an “I spy” that I find particularly interesting for the automotive industry, and most importantly, car buyers like you and me.

R-Screen is a first-of-a-kind VR application allowing consumers to visit a car virtually, showroom style. What I mean is, rather than being in a VR cave or in front of a large, static immersive screen, you must physically walk around the virtual car to see it. Hint, there’s a pivoting screen involved, but you’ll understand better when you watch the video.

“So what?” you may be wondering, but consider the possibilities. Rather compact (3 x 2 meters), R-Screen could be used to:

  • Demo mobility concepts at shows without production. This provides OEMs an opportunity to save resources.
  • Showcase several cars in one spot. A different car, a different audience/day, same show floor real estate.
  • Try and buy new models before they’re in circulation. Want to get a feel for that new Renault model not yet available at the dealership near you? R-Screen lets you do this.
  • Test personalization options and features. You think you’ll like the model in red with an integrated GPS system? Well you may not once you pick up your new car. You can try on all kinds of options virtually before purchasing.

Here’s a little video so you too can take the tour:

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Now I can’t help wondering . . . Imagine being at your favorite dealership near you. With an evolved version of the the R-Screen, you select a car body that best suits your personality and needs. Then you pick from a list of engines that fit within the body. Then interior options, etc. etc. You’ve designed a “My Car” that isn’t necessarily on the vendor list. When you’re satisfied, you click a button. Your choices synch with the PLM metadata, and someone on the production side clicks another button and your “My Car” gets made and shipped to the dealership. No more advance production, storing and shipping. And you get exactly what you want.

Perhaps I’m dreaming a little, but I see this as a possibility for future innovations. What do you think?

Let me know if you’re at Laval Virtual. I’d love to meet up with you!

More to come tomorrow . . .


P.S. R-Screen was made with several 3DVIA Virtools modules, including their VR pack. CLARTE came up with the concept and developed it, and Renault holds the patent.

Community Spirit

By Michael

Courtesy of W. Kohn/DHM, Berlin

Courtesy of W. Kohn/DHM, Berlin

“Who’s turn to do the dishes?” is one of the favorites in a shared household community which you might have enjoyed when you were a student.

Each of us may have a different set of experiences from being part of a community. But what becomes clear very fast is that every community needs to share a defined interest – and you better confirm with the members that they all have the same understanding and sufficient motivation to engage in pursuing a common goal.

Shared households want to split their expense for the rent, football teams want to score and win, an expedition to the Himalaya wants to get to the top and survive. JFK empowered the US nation – a large community – with the goal to get man on the moon.

What’s the secret behind successful communities? It’s certainly not an easy task to start up a community and keep it running. It requires leadership, dedication, skills and continuous efforts.

Similar principles apply for business partnerships. Beyond an initial euphoria regarding “becoming partners” a joint vision and business model are needed where everyone can contribute, win and take their share of the business. Motivation comes from benefits achieved through cooperation, a tangible value from working together for success.

For Dassault Systèmes the ecosystem of partners has always been of primary importance. Find out more about our programs and the different types of partnerships in the world of PLM and 3D by browsing our website.

If we look at our software partner community for instance: since the year 2000 the adoption and deployment of the V5 PLM solution portfolio has been strongly supported by independent software companies who use the V5 infrastructure delivering applications to complete and extend the global solution for customers in specific industry processes.

Today the offering counts almost 500 partner applications. Partner software integrates with DS’ products which brings value and advantages for users, but also enables the partner and DS channels to sell both their respective products. This is the win-win-win business model needed to define a shared goal, to keep the team going together.

Beyond the logic of leveraging business value from the partnership there is the emotional side of things – call it spirit, call it attitude – which is essential for the success of a community. A community is made of people after all. And if you can establish trust and maintain confidence, if you are able to grow the motivation and unleash the energy in a team: you win.

This is why we put a lot of emphasis in what is called “community animation” which is probably not a good expression as it reminds of a Club Med vacation camp. What we want to achieve is to show the community in action, to get more and more participation from members, to enable cross-collaboration between partner companies. This is at the core of what I am doing at DS

Animation happens at joint customer events when we co-present solutions, at industry shows at a joint exhibit, by sharing information in newsletters, by posting and linking website content. We conduct specific partner events such as the Dassault Systèmes Developers Conference with the Partner Summit on June 23/24 and 25, 2009. And with the availability of social software opportunities we have started to involve our partners in participating and contributing their ideas and specific capabilities online, in a community forum and a public blog focusing on partner solutions on the PLM MarketPlace.

In a second post in this series you will learn more about the transition “from ecosystems to communities”, and the specific programs DS runs to incite increasing cooperation in the communities. Expect insights in how this offers opportunities to participate and benefit.

Stay tuned for more,

P.S. And keep in mind: partnership is a people business.

Virtual Reality Series: Interviews & I Spy

By Kate

Does anyone not like virtual reality? I love it and am fascinated that we can trick the human brain into thinking something’s real that isn’t and even shape our brains. And virtual reality’s more than “just for fun.” There are some serious applications out there!

Whether you’re already a VR addict or have a burgeoning curiosity on the matter, well we’ve got some goodness in store for you over the next few weeks.

This week I’ll be blogging live from Laval Virtual, sharing cool applications as I spy them. As part of the series I’ll also be sharing interviews conducted with some of the VR industry’s leaders. I’ve spoken with a mix of folks from the French Association of Virtual Reality and have some interesting perspectives to share on topics as diverse as gear, research, and my favorite, future predictions.

It’s only appropriate however that I start by introducing you to David, and for two reasons. For one, David is Dassault Systèmes’ 3DVIA immersive virtuality domain leader and VR products manager. In that regard, he’s kindly offered to be my tour guide at Laval Virtual. Secondly, David is a member of the French Association of Virtual Reality, and in this role I’ve interviewed him about VR.

Here’s what I asked David:

  • What’s the difference between Virtual Reality and Immersive Virtuality?
  • What are today’s innovations in the virtual reality industry?
  • What will happen to virtual reality as augmented reality and mixed reality become more mainstream?
  • What link does Dassault Systèmes have with VR/immersive virtuality?

Here’s a transcription of the video interview:

Q1: What’s the difference between Virtual Reality and Immersive Virtuality?

Immersive Virtuality is sort of a new term. I started using it as much as I could because people use the term Virtual Reality in a way that doesn’t really describe what it is in the sense that for us, for me and the community of people working on this topic, virtual reality is about immersion. By immersion I mean that the point is to have the body and the sensorial dimension as the central points and not much the virtual. Some people use too much VR, or virtual reality, to describe things like Second Life or QuickTime Via, or whatever. So we started to use Immersive Virtualty as a way to describe what VR really is.

Q2: What are today’s innovations in the virtual reality industry?

The driver of innovation in the VR industry comes from the entertainment world, video gaming, digital cinema, all that. Basically we’re seeing kind of a revolution in the sense that within the gaming world, for example, you find more and more interactions that are engaging the body, and this is what VR is about. Of course there’s the Wii, but there are a lot of new devices and technologies based on this vision that comes from the gaming world. You’ve also got the setup boxes, and also what is being driven by digital cinema that is really moving towards stereoscopy, that is, stereovision. There’s a strong push from Hollywood, and this drives everyone to buy new stereo displays for home. And if you put this together with body tracking devices , you get what VR is about. Sensing and acting, perceiving and acting in the virtual world with your body.

Q3: What will happen to virtual reality as augmented reality and mixed reality become more mainstream?

There’s a continuum between VR and Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. It’s basically how much you put the virtual and the real together inside a given immersive experiment. So basically we’re talking about the same things. Because we have more and more VR technology that comes from progress in the visual world, we’re getting closer and closer to AR when we do VR. But basically you’re mixing a real human, his real surroundings, which are where he’s standing, what he’s manipulating with his real hands, and the virtual worlds. And no matter where you put the focus, it’s basically the same technology. They’re going to grow together.

Q4: What link does Dassault Systèmes have with VR/immersive virtuality?

DS is probably one of the most important VR software editors by acquiring Virtools, which is a leading solution for immersive technologies. Dassault Systèmes has jumped into this world that was not that much a focus point before Virtools joined the group. And now all this technology, these usages are becoming central at Dassault Systèmes. We’ve invested in a very high-end immersive showroom to demonstrate solutions for our customers that would include immersive technologies within our solutions, industries and services.

If you’d like more information about Laval Virtual or would like to visit the 3DVIA booth this week, all the details can be found on the 3DVIA blog post: Love Virtual Reality? Visit 3dvia at Laval Virtual 2009.



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.