Hands-On Medical VR @ swYm

By Kate
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PSS dice view

No, this is not a dice game. It’s a serious VR system for medical professionals and specialists in other areas such as Oil & Gas, and training and simulation.

Today at the swYm conference, Personal Space Technologies’ Director, drs. Arjen Brinkman, kindly coached me through my first try with Personal Space Station (PSS). Unlike the targeted end-users, I didn’t get to hold a pumping human heart in my hands, but I did get to play around with 3D clay modeling.

You can see in the below photo that Arjen even modeled my name.

PSS kate

The problem with hospital technology is that you mostly end up with compromised 3D data that loses information necessary for accurate diagnostic and treatment decisions. For example, you could have a fancy 3D MRI machine, but the display screen is 2D which squashes the 3D information. You just can’t see everything, and details matter in medicine!

Here’s a 21st Century Business video that explains and shows the technology in action. You’ll note an interview with the same Arjen who modeled my name.

YouTube Preview Image

At a time in the Life Sciences industry where we hear a lot of talk about nanoscience, etc., I’m happy to have come across a technology that’s so tangible and ready for mainstream usage. Dare I say it’s “lifelike”?

Many thanks Arjen for your initiation. I look forward to following your company and am happy to see VR working its magic in the healthcare world.



P.S. Personal Space Technologies is a Dassault Systèmes ETCC partner. That stands for Emerging Technology Channel Community.

Kids’ Zone @EyesOn Design

By Phil
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cars past and present-1

On Sunday, June 20th, EyeOn Design hosted its 2010 Automotive Design Show, with the Theme “The Evolution of an Automotive Design.”   It was a beautiful day at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, and the cars were spectacular.

While Auto Industry design experts were judging the cars for their beauty, a team of volunteers from Dassault Systèmes (DS) and Lawrence Technological University (LTU) teamed up to help inspire the next generation of designers in Detroit at the Kids’ Zone.

The DS team consisted of members of the staff who specialize in supporting the Auto Industry with software solutions for design and the entire enterprise.  The LTU staff was made up of students from the School of Transportation and Industrial Design.

kids at work-1

Using wood blocks (bucks) and Playdoh modeling clay, over 60 children of all ages used their creativity to build model cars from the past, present and future.  The volunteer team from DS and LTU served as guides for the would-be car designers, although they didn’t need much help.

Highlights include a minivan with sunglasses, a car with a radar dish, a 1951 Chevy Bel Air look alike, and a car with two pools attached.

It was lots of fun to see the evolution of design through the eyes of our young people. Thanks to everyone who participated!

You can see the children’s designs below . . .



Tom Dixon and Dassault Systèmes swYm Conference

By Kate
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Tom Dixon at swym conference

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

– Blaise Pascal in Provincial Letters: Letter XVI

During this year’s Milan Furniture Fair, I got to meet Virtual Tom, aka designer Tom Dixon’s 3D twin. 

Today at Dassault Systèmes’ swYm conference (formally called Devcon), I got to meet the real person. 

While there are a few memorable geeky nuggets I’d like to dig down on in later posts, I’d like serve up a dosage of Tom-chat.  Sitting outside on the ivy-lined steps of DS Campus, Tom shared his thoughts on 3D and design, plus a glimmer of what he’d like to do for next year’s Milan fair.

“I like opposites, so juxtaposing what’s happening in 3D and online with something real is interesting.”  Tom

Tom’s goal is to make things simple, and “just because you can do lots of complex things with technology and design doesn’t mean that you should.” 

This reminded me of Oblong’s “you are the interface” and the ultimate goals to technology.  We shouldn’t feel the complexity in what’s happening with our 3D, VR or other techno; we should just be enjoying the experience without having to think about the how-to.  Much like we enjoy exquisite French meals.  If you get heady about it, the magic dies.  And if you get too complex in your recipes and presentation, you lose your Michelin star.  

But this is harder to accomplish than you may think.  You see this movement in the PLM space as Kurt Chen pointed out.  Users want simple interfaces and powerful results.  But I’m digressing. 


One of the projects you may see developing from our partnership with Tom Dixon is a design contest for SolidWorks users whereby the winning design would be fabricated live at next year’s Milan Furniture Fair.  Tom, I’m rooting for you on this one, and BTW, if my boss is reading this, how about a ticket to Milan for some live blogging?  ;-)

If you happen to be at swYm, like Tom you may enjoy playing with the “toys” as he called them available on our partner stands.  Think haptic VR.  Tom’s thinking about it in a design context.

Off to some afternoon sessions.  If you’re around, please ping me so I can say hi live.  Otherwise, anything particular you’d like me to cover during the conference? 



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