Your Car is Not a Car

By Kate
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I’ll bet that when Karl Benz first imagined his Motorwagen, he was thinking only about getting from point A to B.  Yet because of its novelty and price, the automobile quickly became a status symbol, allowing misters to outrank cavaliers.

When Ford started mass producing cars, you couldn’t really call the automobile ‘your own’ as there was one model in one color.  Would you like black, or black?

Later people were able to extend their identities onto cars a little more by choosing from a collection of models, colors and options.  In this way the automobile went from being a simple transportation means and status symbol to becoming an outward expression of your personality.  Don’t we all categorize the types of people who drive speedy red cars and big trucks?  ;-)

And now . . . and now I’m going to throw an idea at you that you may not agree with, but that I think is worth some chew time.  Your car is not a car.

Jonathan Dutton and Anne Asensio explain this concept best in the below video (taken at the 2010 Paris Motor Show).  They talk about the car becoming the “digital extension of your life”, the “sport for the purpose of your trip,” and a “physical platform.”

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If your car is a physical mobility platform, then you can add all kinds of services and plugins to make it uniquely yours, which as Anne says will be the “21st century pleasure of automobile.”

Do you agree?  Will you start to view your car as your device, a big iPhone on wheels . . .?



Top 10 Excuses to Avoid the 3D Web

By Cliff
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I’m first going to make an assumption that many of you have probably heard before: 

The next generation will not know the difference between the television, the telephone, the computer, and the game console.

You may disagree, that’s fine, but I am looking forward to the day when I can stop paying  for all four of these services/items.  One bill will be nice!

We are starting to see more people watching television/video on their computers, as well as playing online games.  Many gaming companies still believe that the visual quality of games will always (or at least in the near future) be better on the console than on the Web.

I disagree.  I think we are at the “sweet spot” for the convergence of advancements in 3D technology and the Internet to see real value in 3D for the Web. Here is why . . .

I discussed this recently in a presentation at the Web 2.0 conference (seen below).

In my presentation I used this analogy:

  • Digital video production has been around for over 15 years, but YouTube is only 6 years old.
  • Communicating online (email mainly) has been in wide use since the early 80’s, but Facebook is also only 6 years old.
  • Facebook and YouTube could have been created earlier, but would not have seen the success they have had recently.

Why are these sites only recently becoming popular?

Answer:  Wide use of faster Internet access.  Basically, there were not enough people who had access to a high-speed Internet connections.  And with more access, we have seen great new Web tools.

So, why hasn’t “3D” become as popular for the Web?

Answer:  It actually has.

Second Life and World of Warcraft are great examples, but that’s just the beginning.  I believe we will start to see a surge in 3D Communication/Gaming/Apps for the Web, and especially more true stereoscopic 3D as it engages you more than 2D does.

For example:  3D Television has been a big hit this year, along with movies like AVATAR, and you can now see the same quality of true stereoscopic 3D for web games and apps.  Also, today it is much easier to create 3D apps for the web.

For example: this week the 3DVIA team announced “Drag and Drop stereoscopic 3D” for our Web app middleware, 3DVIA Studio (yes, that’s the plug for 3DVIA Studio, but not the point of this article).  Dassault Systèmes has also partnered with a consumer goods company to bring realistic 3D to online games from a cereal box (If you haven’t seen this, it’s very cool!).

So then WHY isn’t everyone using 3D on their websites?

Here are The Top 10 Possible Excuses:

  1. My mother told me if I watch 3D too long I will go cross-eyed.
  2. I’m allowed to use the remote control, but not the computer at home.
  3. I cannot coordinate 3D Glasses with my designer clothes.
  4. I work at Dunder Mifflin, we are in the (flat) paper business.
  5. I had a bad Second Life experience once.
  6. I’m afraid of the future.
  7. After I saw AVATAR, the movie in 3D, for 2 weeks, I believed I was living on Pandora.
  8. I have a 128mb processor computer.
  9. I still have a black & white television.
  10. Let’s hear yours…Submit your best reason in this post’s comment section . . . The person who replies with the best reason, I’ll send you a 3dvia t-shirt!

Seriously:  I believe it’s just a short matter of time before we see wide adoption of 3D for the web.  You agree? With the marketing behind the 3D television/3D TV, more and more individuals see the benefit of realistic 3D as a way to engage customers and users (online).

So, jump on board the 3D Web bandwagon…we’re heading out.  YEE-HAA!



Radical EV @2010 Paris Motor Show

By Jonathan
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Whilst walking around the Paris Auto Show, Kate and I just happened to bump into Anne Asensio who leads the DS Design Studio…actually we went looking for her as we knew she’d have some great insights into this year’s show and the future trends in mobility.

I asked Anne a few questions about the role of industrial designers in sustainable mobility, the evolution of the car thanks to its electrification and finally how is it all going to change the way that designers, engineers and suppliers will work, and even the way the car is sold.

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I love listening to Anne. She understands the Auto industry so well thanks to her previous job at GM and has a great positive vision for the future of mobility, i.e. cars!

What’s key it that the car will be re-invented, but that’s not all, I believe (and I’m far from alone) that the whole industry’s business model will radically change – let’s face it, it has to if it wants to be sustainable and keep people truly mobile (instead of an average of 10km/h in cities).

Before the Auto Show I spent two days with Riversimple and SIM Drive, one with HEV & MaaS (hydrogen electric vehicle and Mobility as a Service), and the other with a BEV (battery electric vehicle) platform for retro-fitting. The platform was interesting as for me it conjured up the days when coach builders made some of the most beautiful cars in the world without being constrained by the monocoque, maybe we’ll see this soon?

The companies had many similarities especially on how to develop their technologies by harnessing the world’s talent. They believe that developing the car on a virtual platform on-line is the only way for customers to have to product they want that is right for the environment.

I also couldn’t resist checking out the fabulous Tesla Roadster, how much do I want one….?!!! And by the way they’re our customer and will be presenting at the Dassault Systèmes Customer Conference in Florida this November.  Check out their video:

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So do you agree that these are radical times for the mobility market?

Sustainably yours,

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