News

Transforming Design

This week, I’m coming to you live from Anaheim, CA, and SolidWorks World 2010. The SolidWorks user community continues to flock to this annual event, and this year, there are more than 5,000 registrants learning about new features coming up in the next version of SolidWorks, as well as networking with other users, SolidWorks executives, and members of the press (the most important group!).

But let’s talk about what I saw here on opening day. I have to tell you that today I saw a technology that has the potential to completely transform the way designers design. The company is called InfiniteZ (based in Campbell, CA) and the technology is called the zSpace™ platform. Essentially, it’s a virtual-holographic system in which lifelike stereoscopic images appear in open space in front of you, and you can directly interact with them using a special stylus. It uses an LCD display that’s a workbench environment that lets you navigate, grab, slice, carve, zoom, and explore models.

I saw a few different demos of this platform, and the ability to move and create models in open space right in front of you is amazing. InfiniteZ CEO Paul Kellenberger told me that the platform will be available soon (“in months, not years,” he said). In the meantime, check out the company’s Web site and stay tuned. This is one technology that any CAD user is going to want to keep track of.