The following was submitted by Senior Strategic Designer, Doug Look, after reflecting on his AU experience.
After being away from Autodesk for a few years, going to AU this year was like a homecoming celebration. I was able to connect up with old friends and meet some new ones—on the shuttle bus from Mandalay Bay to the convention center, at the breakfast and lunch buffets, and while manning our Autodesk Labs customer showcase. Many of the folks that I met had not heard of Autodesk Labs; however after looking around at the booths, most were pretty excited by what they saw. On Wednesday, November 28, I had a chance to give individual tours to six folks from the media—again they seemed to be very impressed by the breadth of our exploration with our small, nimble, and quick-moving Labs team.
- Of course the star of the show was the Perceptive Pixel Multi-touch Wall equipped with a multi-touch enabled Autodesk Design Review. Many thanks go out to Jeff Han for being there, even missing his flight out on Wednesday to help us out. The multi-touch instrumentation was coded by our own Autodesk Labs software developer, Eddy Kuo.
- 3D City also got a huge crowd - the first question was usually "How is this different from Google or Virtual Earth?" People had great fun navigating with the joystick flying around D.C. when they saw real design models with electrical and plumbing detail, they could see the differences for themselves.
- Digital Pen: customers found this one really intriguing - using paper and pen as a way to complete the digital process. I had some offers to assist with trials using Autodesk Design Review and the digital pen from one of the large three-letter named architectural firms.
- Project Showroom: The most interesting insight came from a manufacturing customer who imagined using the underlying technology to pull together machine parts - kind of like a configurator that could also do finished renderings on the fly remotely accessed through a web browser. An example of something like this can be found for street lamps from Holophane.
- Project Draw + Project Freewheel: once people learned that these were zero-client, web-based applications, they seemed genuinely interested. Folks often made the connection that it would be really cool to develop something that merged these capabilities. Now there's an idea! Showing off the share capabilities using the Mac was great fun and hammered home the value of these kinds of solutions.
Here’s a quote from an excited customer that checked out our Labs web site after the show: "Thank you for the Lab link (http://labs.autodesk.com). I have looked at it briefly and WOW! I have shared it with my designer and will be visiting it more soon."
Excitement over AU is still very much alive in the lab.