Last month I attended a two-part event known as the HOOPS Summit. My familiarity with HOOPS is as the Hierarchical Object-Oriented Picture System that I used to work on. It's a platform-independent graphics system that allows programmers to write one program and have the graphics work speedily and consistently across a variety of platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc.
The first part was an evening reception entitled Tec Talk. At the start, attendees networked for a few minutes. This was then interrupted for a formal presentation, after which, the networking recommenced. There were several presentations throughout the evening with the last one from Autodesk CEO Emeritus and board member, Carl Bass.
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The second part was an all-day summit that featured Tech Soft 3D employees and customers sharing their experiences of working with HOOPS. And when I say HOOPS, I mean all of what HOOPS has grown into:
The portfolio includes:
- HOOPS Exchange — fast and accurate CAD data translation toolkit
- HOOPS Visualize — graphics engine for high-performance applications (what I worked on long ago)
- HOOPS Communicator — streaming engine for advanced 3D visualization over the web
- HOOPS Publish — native software development kit for 3D PDF generation
The day went like this:
Key Note, Ron Fritz, Tech Soft 3D CEO
Tech Soft 3D considers themselves a "partner" to their customers instead of just a vendor in that Tech Soft 3D is rooting for the success of its customers and is very willing to help. Tech Soft 3D is to its customers as Q is to James Bond.
Technology Trends, Gavin Bridgeman, Tech Soft 3D CTO
Although one might think that software development is mostly about writing brand new code, the majority of the time is spent connecting pieces. The current trends in software development include:
- Developing digital twins (virtual replicas of physical assets) to visualize the internet of things
- Augmented reality (computer information plus real world) and virtual reality (immersive computer environments)
- Engineering work being done on tablet devices
- Generative design as a replacement for modeling by hand
- A new world of software development where systems are connected
Successful Data Reuse for Agile - HOOPS Data Exchange, Clive Sandhurt, Tech Soft 3D Product Manager
In the same way that agile software development replaced the traditional waterfall model, making things is also becoming agile where the industry is moving to manufacturing as a service.
Partner Showcase, Qasim Khan, Meta
The brain works in 3D, and as such, virtual reality allows designers to work in 3D instead of looking at 2D plans and having to make the conceptual leads in their imaginations. Augmented Reality is going to disrupt the way we tell stories.
Advancing Engineering Graphics - HOOPS Visualize / HOOPS Communicator, Erik Hultgren, Tech Soft 3D Product Manager
Techniques for speeding up video games do not apply to engineering because the engineering renderings have to be accurate as things are made from those renderings. Despite this, users expect engineering apps to work on any platform, and device, anywhere. There’s been a resurgence in the desire for mobile applications that have the responsiveness and power of native applications. If you want to avoid vomiting during your VR experience, make sure your platform renders at 90 frames per second.
Partner Showcase, Mark Klusza, Assemble Systems
Access to construction information is still very disjointed. Data is what’s important to subcontractors but being able to visualize it is what makes it useful.
Power of the Platform, HOOPS Platforms / Parasolid / Polygonica - Eric Vinchon, Tech Soft 3D VP of Product Strategy
Platforms are the future. Uber is a transportation company without any cars. Airbnb is a lodging company without any hotels. Platforms like HOOPS enable others to make money.
Partner Showcase, Dave Calkins, New River Kinematics
Metrology is the science of measurement. The integration of HOOPS Exchange and HOOPS Visualize allows visualization of data with the relationships maintained among the elements of the data. Measurements are possible with insights gained based on those relationships.
Conclusion / Wrap-up / Q&A, Ron Fritz, Tech Soft 3D CEO et al
It was great to network with new faces who have an appreciation for 3D graphics as well as see long-time friends.
HOOPS Visualize is a component of Autodesk Design Review, another product that I have worked on. The HOOPS Summit was great to get a sense of where component technology is and is going.
Autodesk has always been an automation company, and today more than ever that means helping people make more things, better things, with less; more and better in terms of increasing efficiency, performance, quality, and innovation; less in terms of time, resources, and negative impacts (e.g., social, environmental). Like HOOPS, Autodesk Forge is one of our platforms (e.g., 3D/2D viewer, CAD data translation) that helps our customers in their own automation quests.
Platform development is alive in the lab.