Sometimes technology previews are temporarily put on ice.
Technology previews are available for a fixed amount of time. They are not intended as free functionality that is available forever. Even though technology previews are free, there are accounting rules that come into play regarding revenue recognition that Autodesk adheres to. Here's how it normally works: An Autodesk team makes a technology preview available, collects the feedback over a given time, and then, based on the feedback, determines the next step at the end of the preview. Sometimes this involves immediately working on the technology for inclusion into a future production release of a design application or suite. Sometimes it involves temporarily putting the technology on the shelf for a while-while working on other things.
On February 1, 3 technology previews ended on Autodesk Labs:
- Mesh Enabler for Inventor 2011
- Point Cloud Feature Extraction for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011 and 2012
- Shape Extraction for AutoCAD 2012, AutoCAD Architecture 2012, AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012, AutoCAD Plant 3D 2012, AutoCAD MEP 2012, and AutoCAD Mechanical 2012
In the case of the Mesh Enabler, the technology preview that is compatible with 2012 is still available until January 1, 2013. The Inventor team is very interested in continued feedback from Inventor 2012 users.
With regard to Point Cloud Feature Extraction and Shape Extraction, at this time, we have no interest in extending these technology previews. The feedback that we would receive would not apply since our future plans would be based on another technology. The situation has changed with the acquisition of the Alice Labs, and it will take some time to integrate the Alice Labs technology into other technology previews if we decide to do that at all.
We believe Alice Labs has the best technology for:
- Viewing clouds in full density without heavy overdraw
- High visualization speed
- Fast access to points for interpreting algorithms
- Photorealistic rendering
We will continue to work with this new technology to perhaps make technology previews available in the future. For users who have been experimenting with these technology previews, we know it’s a difficult situation, but this is why technology previews are technology previews. They are not intended for production use. Users who use them for production do so at their own risk. The expiration dates are published at the onset so everyone knows they will need to be done with their "evaluations" by the end dates. The list of users who have downloaded each technology preview will be the first people we contact if an Alice-Labs-based technology preview becomes available.
Progression is alive in the lab.