Eye Tracking Super Power with Tobii

By Kate
Antoine and Nicolas from Tobii

Antoine and Nicolas from Tobii

Have you ever tried moving objects with your . . . eyes?

If you’re at Devcon you can, just pop by the Tobii booth. Granted the objects you’ll move will be photos and words, but I promise you’ll feel as if you’ve been given a new super-power.

The market for eye tracking software and devices is interesting, and the proof, Tobii’s business is growing by gallops every year. Who’s using it? There are four main industries soaking up the stuff:

Market research and usability
This is interesting for website and software usability, online marketing . . . package design and shelf placement, and sponsoring and product placement. And although just starting to peep its head out of the egg (so to speak), Dassault Systèmes is now exploring using eye tracking with its 3DVIA Virtual Shopping solution. Lifelike baby!

Scientific research
If yours eyes are the windows to your soul, Tobii is going to get pretty intimate with your subconscious. Well, the psychologists will at least. Psychology and vision researchers are mixing eye tracking into their lab kits. There are some neat things happening in terms of infant research, for example. The babes can’t talk, but you can figure out what’s happening in there by studying their gazes. Other examples of research fields cracking for eye tracking include psycholinguistics and neuropsychology.

Assistance technology
Eye tracking allows disabled people to manage artificial intelligence interfaces with their gaze. They can browse the web, write messages, and in some cases “speak” for the first time. Unassisted.

OEM technology
This is where it gets interesting for traditional product innovation. What if you could integrate an eye tracking device into medical instruments and vehicles? Imagine the lives that could be saved if all cars contained an eye tracking device that would detect driver drowsiness and then set off some sort of alarm to jolt your system into alertedness . . .

The possibilities are endless, up to us to invent them. If you were to invent an eye tracking innovation, what would it be?

A demain!



P.S. Here’s a moving video about a professor with ALS using eye tracking to get his life back on track.

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Encounter with Connex the 3D Printer

By Kate

Everyone has a first time for everything, and today was my first encounter with a 3D printer. Keep in mind I’m neither a designer nor engineer, so thanks for indulging me in my excitement.

I must confess that I’ve been having a hard time wrapping my mind around what is a “3D printer”. I’m coming from a Xerox perspective where ink gets jetted onto paper to print out text, images and occasional gag items like your hands.

After having seen some “printed” things, I’d argue that this is rather about producing objects, or as the professionals would say, prototyping objects. Replace ink jets with resin-spewing nozzles (200 per material I’m told), connect your CATIA or other CAD data to a machine like the Connex by Object, and then you let Connex purr away until it spits out items like:

This elegant decorative bowl:

How about a translucent head containing an anatomically correct brain?

Or a jaw fully equipped with teeth (notice those gorgeous roots):

Why not a gear thing-a-ma-bob to keep your fidgety fingers busy?

I find it particularly cool that with a lot of resin dots, each approximately .04 mm in size (think hair follicles), 3D printers like Connex can spew out complex, mechanically functioning objects. It’s almost like the dots are cells, but without the intelligence.

What a great way to quickly test your design concept. See if the object in question does indeed fit into your pocket, is easy to manipulate, etc.

I was hoping the resin used is biodegradable, but we’re not there yet. Maybe next year?

Many thanks to Object and their reseller from MG2 Systems who took the time to answer my questions and let me cart his “printed objects” around Devcon until I found the right photo spot. I did feel a little odd toting around the head/brain.

More to come from Devcon soon. Check out #DSDEVCON09 on Twitter if you’d like to see what people are tweeting, and please jump in the comments section if you feel inspired.



P.S. Here’s a snazzy video of Connex herself.

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PLM 2.0 + Enterprise 2.0 = Social Innovation

By Kate

In 2006, Dassault Systèmes embarked on an adventure that has lead to today’s strategic partnership announcement with Enterprise Social Software company blueKiwi.

I can’t help but think of Neil Armstrong’s famous phrase :

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

Now just for fun, try replacing the word ‘man’ with ‘PLM’ and ‘mankind’ with ‘Industry’. Are you with me?

The business of designing, engineering, simulating, manufacturing, recycling, etc. etc. products first virtually so that you get them right the first real-world time is called Product Lifecycle Management. Like so many things in the IT world, PLM has traditionally been segmented by companies, industries and user groups. Yet with PLM 2.0 technologies and enterprise social media solutions like blueKiwi, this is changing.

Why does PLM need an enterprise social software solution? According to Bernard Charlès in today’s press conference, “PLM needs blueKiwi to capture memory and provide the freedom to exchange ideas.” Bernard also talked a lot about how the partnership is about “connecting people.”

His quote in today’s announcement says it best:

The current business environment reveals a growing disconnect between consumer requirements and available products, between employees and their companies. The new consumer buying behavior, as well as different employee working experiences, create new needs and require businesses to adapt. Social Innovation is about connecting individuals, ideas and virtual experiences, and leveraging social networking capabilities. We have imagined online services in order to connect both worlds, thus enabling people to become participants in the innovation processes, either in their role as a consumer or as an employee.

What I liked hearing about best today is that blueKiwi isn’t monogamous to one platform, it is platform polygamous. I’ll let you consider the possibilities.

If this news interests you, you’ll probably enjoy Timo Elliott’s blog article Enterprise 2.0 Must be Aligned with Business Process

You may also like to see what people are saying about this on Twitter. Just search Twitter with #dassaultsystemes and #bluekiwi.

Stay tuned for live blogging from DevCon starting tomorrow. Meanwhile, have you tried Tianamo?



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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.