Day 3 of Autodesk University was marked by the amiable groaning of people who were again walking the endless halls and floors that comprise the Venetian Hotel and the Sands Expo center. AU actually continues into Friday but Day 3 is always punctuated by the closing of the show floor and a corresponding high speed exodus by the exhibitors.
CCNtv, our online video broadcast, has issued three broadcasts directly from AU this week, where the lovely Amy Adams, our TV host, has charmed attendees and exhibitors alike. The team covered a lot of ground, finding and reporting on new products that include HP’s Blade Workstations, Adapx’ digital pen and digital paper, 2Bot’s Modelmaker product, NextEngine’s pretty neat little 3d scanner which costs just $2499, and much more.
Autodesk has basked in the glory of doing just about everything right. The show floor was well subscribed by exhibitors, the event attracted more than 9,000 attendees, the keynotes were creative, confident and bright. People were telling me that the software training they get at AU is ‘beyond good.’ Autodesk should be getting a nod from the industry for this one.
Adapting to Adapx
Image – Jeff Drust, a strategy consultant with Adapx, proudly displays the new Capturx digital pen – a product I hope might soon change the way I work.
Adapx is a newcomer to the industry, with a product which looks and acts like a pen, except that your handwritten notes can be immediately loaded into the corresponding documents on your computer. This is cool for many reasons, and the application of the technology makes some sense. For example when you are out in the field surveying a building site, or checking as-built details, instead of having to manually transpose the notes you made into the CAD file, it does it for you, instantly. It currently supports AutoCAD, ArcGIS and Microsoft OneNote. But indications are that it will soon support lots of other stuff. I spent the entire event trying to persuade them to support Microsoft Word, so that whenever I do a manual edit on an article, it can be immediately uploaded into the Word document.
The product technology is based on a dissertation undertaken by David McGee, the founder and CTO of Adapx, who is a man with a vision. It turns out that while the company has a fledgling ‘rocking’ product, he has his eye on the future: he believes that writing as a form of communication is not about to disappear. It will continue because using our hands, fingers and thumbs to write is inherent to our nature. However, he believes that the media we use to write on will absolutely change, has to. That we will probably end up using super-thin panels that will probably have a zero carbon footprint and immediate recyclability. They will fold into the size of a postage stamp and fold out to the size of a dining room table. And we will write on them, as well as view images, TV shows, play video games (there’s a dated term eh?) and so on. He is planning on Adapx’ technology being a part of that vision of the future.
You can view a more detailed article on Adapx at our sister publication, CADCAMNet, at this link (free trial or paid subscription required)
CCNtv Gets Out in Public at AU
Some nutter allowed our entire CCNtv crew to spend the week at AU. Our host for the week was Amy Adams, and we did three broadcasts directly from the event, providing coverage of the keynotes, hot new products and attendees.
Image: the more diminutive of our two cameramen, JT, gets demo footage from Spheron for the CCNtv broadcasts.
Spheron was demonstrating an absolutely eye-popping 360 degree, high def scanner/camera, that can provide some incredibly detailed images of a space, and also delivers photogrammetry tools for 3D measurement of said space. It is way cool, but does not yet carry a published price, which therefore means it costs a lot. But that’s not a problem really – if the need for this technology is there, people will inevitably pay the price.
Spheron is based in Waldfischbach, Germany which is somewhere on the western border, not far from France.
2Bot also got noticed by a lot of attendees for its very interesting CNC machine for architects. By focusing on taking away the problems inherent with CNC machines – mostly the need to do G-code programming, 2BOt turns out to be incredibly easy to use. Paul Nye, founder and CEO of 2Bot, claims that the receptionist could learn to use it in an hour. Having seen the product, I believe him! 2Bot has a few aspects to it that are not quite ready like the size of the material, but, rather than dwelling on the small details that will resolve themselves in time and in a similar attitude to Adapx, 2Bot rather is focused on its strong vision for the future. This involves a future where any and every kind of model, part, or product, can be made using this machine, and that eventually every home will have a 2Bot. Interesting idea.
In an effort to consolidate many of its press efforts, Autodesk has decided that press will be given the VIP treatment only at its separate press events, such as the recent Paris Summit, rather than host the press at AU as it has typically done before. It did invite a small amount of editors, but not to the extent that we have become used to. On the first day of AU, the MCAD press were given a lavish lunch (see photo) but no lectures. It was a really fun little interlude between lengthy walks.
Image: Brad Holtz (left) and Roopinder Tara compete for best-dressed CAD editor, although there’s not much competition when you put them up against the ‘down-and-out’ look preferred by editors such as Martyn Day and Al Dean (pictured below).
I am now headed for home, and about to board my flight for denver. Will be checking in with you soon.