…Forest for the Trees

I have to confess to being a bit perplexed. It seems my “rocket launcher” example is getting some attention… but for mostly limited reasons it seems to me. Fab the videogame data to make toys? It goes well beyond that. If I only wanted to make a game model into a real object I’d rip the data straight from the game instead of hijacking the data as I did (and I’m pretty sure plenty of people have done this already). Truth is, the real objective behind that attempt was not achieved (the Quake model was merely a test). And the point behind that post wasn’t really fabbing.

At least one person got a big part of it… I hope the others did too but maybe just aren’t really discussing it.

World Wide Labor

Excellent article over on BusinessWeek online discussing product life-cycle management (PLM) software leader UGS. From the article:

Click an icon on any PC loaded with UGS software, and you’re ushered into a digital forum, with a three-dimensional workspace and folders of information along one side. Marketers can post ideas for new products. Engineers can design 3D prototypes. And manufacturers can lay out a new assembly line, complete with every piece of equipment necessary. Tens of thousands of people can participate on a single project from anywhere there’s a Web connection.

I noticed mention of Dassault (read more about their acquisition of ABAQUS here), but didn’t see mention of PTC which I’m aware has been into VR for a number of years and has apparently done well with their Windchill application. Have to wonder where something like Croquet fits into this secretive and proprietary world. Might it eventually be the Linux of PLM?

Xbox 2

Blue’s News has posted a portion of the features listed in the “Guide” to Microsoft’s upcoming gaming platform: the eagerly anticipated Xbox 2. Among the features of note are:

* Marketplace. Browseable by game, by genre, and in a number of other ways, the Marketplace will provide a one-stop shop for consumers to acquire episodic content, new game levels, maps, weapons, vehicles, skins and new community-created content.
* Micro-transactions. Breaking down barriers of small-ticket online commerce, micro-transactions will allow developers and the gaming community to charge as little as they like for content they create and publish on Marketplace. Imagine players slapping down $.99 to buy a one-of-a-kind, fully tricked-out racing car to be the envy of their buddies.

Some of you out there understand why I initially chose “reBang” as my company name: it referred to the creation of real world product additionally leveraged as virtual content. This makes sense since the modern development of tangible goods almost always now involves the creation of a virtual 3D representation.

I’ve been waiting for the chance to straddle two worlds for some time, and the implementation of Marketplace and Micro-transactions features in MS’s console signals that this may now soon be possible (the first issue, high-rez content, has been resolved with the latest technology as demonstrated in Half-Life 2, Doom3, and the forthcoming Unreal 3 game engine).

Looks like I need to get myself in gear and position myself appropriately now that the time is fast approaching for this to happen. And that may mean less “shotgun” blogging and more focus. It was coming anyway.