From Building Products to Experiences: Can Gaming Technologies Help? Part 1

By Virgile

Hello!

First of all, I’d like to say I’m happy to start blogging here. :-)

I’m writing today and in the next coming days about what tangible products and video games have in common.

To be sure we’re all on the same page, let’s go through a very quick definition exercise first. (These are at least my working definitions for this blog series):

  • PLM is historically about developing better products. How do we accelerate their time to market, plan for their manufacturing, determine what kind of factory is needed to make them (human resources etc.), and what materials are actually needed to build the products, as well as the simulation of these materials?
  • Video game development is historically about providing the best possible entertainment experience, not being worried about how realistic it was. Over the last 15 years, we’ve seen a democratization of high quality 3D through consumer video cards, with today video games that look almost as realistic as a photo.

Promoting fun and the experience:
In order to illustrate the way we look at products, I’ve selected two TV ads from Peugeot. The first one is from the 80s, the second from early 2008 (French version only, sorry).

Peugeot 205 ad: YouTube Preview Image
With this one, you clearly see a product centric communication. People are just turning their heads 180°, impressed when they see it.

Peugeot 207 ad: YouTube Preview Image

On this more recent ad, the communication is definitely experience centric. Yes, the car looks good, everybody expects that. What really matters here is that it’s fun to drive.

A few years back, designing and promoting a car was about the car itself: good looking, attractive, sexy, whatever. If you look at today’s advertising, the industry has widely evolved towards the experience (all ads) and the fun (most ads). This clearly states that the car itself is obviously important, but how you may feel or enjoy driving it is what makes the real difference.

In order to imagine and create the cars, car manufacturers therefore need to simulate these experiences: how does it feel to get into the car when you’re 2 meters tall? What about if you’re only 1.5 meters tall? How is it to drive it under the rain at dark? Do you feel safe or at risk? These are only a few examples, the other ones are easy to guess… but all of them ideally would require analysis very early in the design process of the “perfect car”, depending on its targeted customers and distribution regions.

In my next post, I’ll be talking about the tools and technologies that are needed to adapt from a product centric development to an experience centric approach.

Virgile

P.S. The image at the start of this blogpost is a good example of how realistic today’s video games can look. Thanks to Sony for this stunning screenshot. The screenshot was taken from the game Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and developed by Polyphony Digital (one of Sony’s internal studios). You can find more of them on ign.com.

Xplorair: A New Mobility Concept

By Richard

 

Xplorair PX200

Here is one of our current Passion for Innovation projects: Xplorair.

When I was approached about it, I immediately thought, “Wow! Here is The Fifth Element taxi!” That being said, it quickly became obvious that Xplorair was a solid project, lead by an experienced aero engineer named Michel Aguilar.

The candidate projects we favor most in Passion for Innovation must bring something new and exciting to the world. There was no doubt about the excitement Xplorair generated when I read the proposal. And as for innovation, well, I’ll let you decide for yourself:

The Xplorair is a vertical take-off and landing without rotative wing vehicle based on the Coanda effect.

What is the Coanda effect? To put it briefly, it’s the ability of a fluid flow (liquid or gas) to “stick” to a convex surface and to attract it. It has been studied by the engineer Henri Coanda, therefore its name. A simple demonstration of this effect can be done by holding a sheet of paper by one of its ends, with one hand on each corner of that end. Blow on the piece of paper while aiming your breath between your hands, and you will see the free end of the paper rise up.

Congratulations! You have shown that upper surface blowing creates a bearing strength. This is what Xplorair is based on. If you blow on a wing’s upper surface, you will take off. If the wing is in fact made of two articulated parts with the jet engine blowing somewhere in the middle, it’s enough to change the angle between the two wing parts to make the transition between vertical take-off, and regular, horizontal flight.

The Coanda effect has already been used on some aircrafts to bring additional bearing strength and reduce take-off distances. However, Xplorair is definitely a breakthrough as it is the FIRST aircraft entirely relying on this effect for BOTH take-off and flight.

To spice up the project, Xplorair will treat the subject of greener mobility. The engine– a brand new kind of engine called a thermoreactor– is a second technical breakthrough in its own right. It will use second generation biofuels (i.e. non threatening for food nor biodiversity), and some cabin elements, such as the control panel and seats, will be made out of agro-materials.

Xplorair will come in several versions (1, 2 or 4 seats). For starters we’re working to develop the monoseat version, the PX200 (for Personal Xplorair, 200 km/h).

The Xplorair team is using CATIA V5 as the 3D CAD software for design, SIMULIA and CAA-partner CD-Adapco solutions to simulate the vehicle in operation.

So, is Xplorair an airplane? a flying car? a flying motorbike? No matter what you call it, it’s a new mobility concept.

And who could give this concept a shape if not DS Design Studio? I’m happy to announce that we just started the ideation phase with Anne Asensio’s enthusiastic and creative team. They were already sketching during the meeting. ;-)

Stay tuned for more info about Xplorair in future 3D Perspectives blog posts.

Keep 3D-ing!

Regards,

Rich

P.S. Unfortunately, neither Bruce Willis nor Milla Jovovich will be delivered with the final product, just in case you’re wondering . . .

Say It in 3D!

By Richard

Hi, this is Richard. Before I talk about Passion for Innovation, my usual playground, I’d like to share some thoughts about 3D as a universal language.

First, let me tell you I’m really fond of languages. I think language reveals many things about the unique genius of a given people. The origin and evolution of a language is tightly linked to its speakers’ history, and the colloquial expressions reflect the way they see the world. That’s why I try to learn some basic words and useful sentences whenever I travel in a country I’ve never been before. It’s a matter of respect and helps me to be open to other cultures.

So, what’s the link with 3D? At Dassault Systèmes we believe that 3D is a language in its own right, a universal language. At this point I imagine some of you may be raising your eyebrows in sort of a “what the heck are they talking about?” kind of way. Let me explain.

Getting rid of the Babel curse is an old dream, which led to humans trying to build universal languages. The most well-known ones are Volapük and Esperanto. Although the latter one is still spoken today, all failed to fulfill the dream.

The reason is that you do not build a language from scratch. As mentioned before, a language is tightly linked to history and the genius of the people who forged it. It reflects the people’s deepest nature.

So, are we hopeless? Of course not. Here enters 3D.

Look at children. Before they can speak as adults do, kids naturally use drawings to communicate their vision of the world and their feelings. They also use gestures. Adults will use gestures as well to try and communicate with foreigners when they do not know a single word of their language.

As soon as we can’t rely on words, we resort to a direct, non-verbal, more or less accurate representation of the world. In other words, we draw– either on a flat surface (2D) or “in the air” (3D gestures).

If we could have a direct, exact representation of the world to present to other people, we would use it to communicate. That’s the point. Interactive 3D is the solution.

  • Because it’s 3D, it accurately represents our world (much better than a 2D drawing, even if you’re a reincarnated Da Vinci, perspective genius)
  • Because it’s interactive, you can let people play around with it, manipulate it at will.

Let’s take an example: Jean-Pierre Houdin’s theory about the Great Pyramid building. The downloadable full story is as crystal clear as humanly possible. However, building such a monument needs techniques which are delicate to put into words. Because we all have different backgrounds and experiences, some specific words will carry different meanings, some sentences will ring loud and clear for architects or scientists but not for people unfamiliar with those universes.

Now, let’s consider the 3D site. Watch Jean-Pierre’s avatar explain his theory “in person”. Experience the interactive, 3D navigation. Walk around the pyramid and navigate to places where you would like to see more details. You can do it, it’s all in 3D, and it’s all real-time and interactive. Best of all, if you have a chance to attend the immersive 3D show at La Geode (a giant media dome in Paris), you will experience Khufu’s building as if you were in Egypt at that time. Wearing special glasses, you will be among the workers hauling blocks of limestone and see the monument taking shape stone after stone. No lecture, no matter if it’s made by the world’s best orator, can match that.

3D eliminates all barriers. It’s not anymore about cultural or educational backgrounds. It’s all about pure experience, sensations and emotions. 3D talks directly to your senses.

That’s why we believe 3D is the universal language. We’ll show it through new, exciting projects soon. Stay tuned!

Keep 3D-ing!

Regards,

Rich



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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.