Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Is a picture worth a thousand search words?

Is a picture worth a thousand search words?

Is a picture worth a thousand search words?

Posted: 24 Nov 2015 09:54 PM PST

Written by Catherine Bolgar

Selecting the right Internet search words can be frustrating. But thanks to broader bandwidth and better picture-recognition technology, future searches may be image- or video-driven

"There's a long history of search engines that have tried to use images,, says Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy for the Local Search Association, an industry association of media companies, agencies and technology providers. "Visual search was seen as more directly delivering information than text. Maybe it was a technology thing or timing thing, but they didn't quite find the right model."

As smart phones began reshaping the Internet landscape—some 340 million were shipped in the second quarter of 2015 alone—pre-existing visual search engines such as Grokker, Viewzi and SearchMe floundered. Yet the proliferation of smart phones and tablets may have increased demand because their small screens are more suited to pictures than text.

"Visual is definitely one path forward for search," Mr. Sterling says. At the moment, when searching for a particular product, "unless you have a specific brand name, it's hard and frustrating clicking back and forth to different sites."

An image search "will confirm quickly if it's what you're looking for, plus provide customer reviews and other product information," Mr. Sterling says.


However, image search is not so straightforward. You take a photograph and use it to search related information, but success depends on the angle, light and focus of the photo.

"In the future, maybe it will be the case where you snap a picture of a landmark and get all the information about it," he says. "What's open for improvement is using a camera to get information. Inputting a 16-digit credit card number into a small screen on a phone is problematic. You mistype. Today, you can take a picture of the credit card and certain apps will recognize it and process it into the form."

Images by themselves probably aren't the future. "Look for a mix of images and structured data, finding what images are, finding other related things and organizing that information with tags and other data," Mr. Sterling says. "There's more and more sophistication in how you identify and index, with machine learning and other technology that exists behind the scenes that could apply to a pure text or image model."

Researchers are working to improve the technological foundations for image searches. A group of universities is developing ImageNet, a database of 14 million images that attaches images to nouns.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Torresani, associate professor of computer science at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, has helped create a machine-learning algorithm that uses images to find documents. However, only a few users annotate their uploaded pictures and videos, and not necessarily accurately. "The repository is expanding at an astonishing rate, but we can't retrieve content efficiently," Dr. Torresani says.

Software can check whether the searched-for objects are in a picture, and if so automatically tags them. "It works, but has limitations," Dr. Torresani says. "It's difficult to expose all the content in the picture with predefined classes. And if you use predefined classes, then the search is only accessible through those keywords."

Another way is to extract some visual features, like a visual signature, that allows users to search by example. Alternatively, software could translate key words into the visual signature, because users are accustomed to searching via text. This would work like language translation software, but translating from text to image instead.

"It could be used to find images or videos that are similar in context or appearance, and link them somehow," Dr. Torresani says. "It could make the repositories browsable."

Video is the bigger challenge. "One second of video has 30 images," he says. "The amount of data we need to analyze a one-minute video is huge. Storage is a problem. Retrieval is a problem. Processing is a problem."

Yet "even if the recognition process fails on one or two images, we have so many of them and the view maybe changes and the object that was ambiguous becomes clearer later in the video," Dr. Torresani says. "From that point of view, video is easier than a still image."


Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe. For more from Catherine Bolgar, contributors from the Economist Intelligence Unit along with industry experts, join the Future Realities discussion.

Photos courtesy of iStock

Novidades AutoCad 2013

Novidades AutoCad 2013

A Thanksgiving Tip on Cleaning up your lines with the Top Secret CHANGE command!

Posted: 25 Nov 2015 12:48 PM PST

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US!  The awesome Volker Cocco reminded me of this cool trick for cleaning up your lines using the good old (top secret) CHANGE command in AutoCAD.  You can go to many webinars that Volker and the Autodesk Knowledge Network team do to brush up on all your Autodesk Product skills! 

Autodesk Help Webinars

 We all end up dealing with drawings that were drawn poorly - ends don't meet or the lines are not quite orthogonal.  And you may not be aware that the CHANGE command is a handy tool that can help you fix them...Check out my latest Cadalyst video and add another cool tip to your repertoire!  



Autocad Interface

Autocad Interface

AU 2015 handout: Integrating .NET Code with AutoCAD I/O to Add Design Intelligence to Your Website

Posted: 25 Nov 2015 02:38 AM PST

With the clock ticking before next week's AU 2015, here's the second of my class handouts (here's a link to the first). For those of you lucky enough to be heading to this year's event, see you in Vegas! Introduction During the course of this session, we're going to look...

Novidades GraphicSpeak

Novidades GraphicSpeak

CorelCAD 2016 arrives

Posted: 24 Nov 2015 11:19 AM PST

Corel has building on its CorelDraw franchise to create a line of professional products for designers. In the process the company has been able to appeal to a unique base of users.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Advanced Manufacturing is On Top at Autodesk University Next Week

Posted: 24 Nov 2015 10:02 AM PST

We are one week away from one of the biggest design and manufacturing events of the year. Autodesk are inviting all its customers to come and network, deepen their knowledge and sharpen their skills.

This event has a long list of manufacturing roundtables discussion, labs, and presentations.

Here is everything for any manufacturing junkie:
• Integrated CAM inside Inventor and Fusion 360.
• Delcam's high-end PowerMill, FeatureCAM and ArtCAM.
• Composite solution with TruNest and TruLaser.
• Factory Design Suite: Raise your productivity with better plant layout with.

Also, make sure you take a break from classes, and visit the exhibit hall. Here you will find live machining on the latest CNC equipment.

IM12857-R Advanced Manufacturing Roundtable Dec 1, 8:00-9:30am
Meet the Product Management Team for Autodesk, Inc., CAM Solutions, Fabrication software, Composite Solutions, and Factory Design Suite software.

MFG12188 – CAM for Students and Education Dec 1, 1:30-2:30pm
Autodesk CAM for Educators, Students, Classrooms, Student Clubs, Maker Spaces, Non Profits, Learn about Autodesk's learning resources, and how you can take advantage of the free integrated CAD/CAM software.

CP11498 – Prototype Machining for Product Designers with Fusion 360 Dec 1, 3:00-4:00pm
This class presents several real-world examples using Fusion 360 software as a platform for making things using a Tormach PCNC milling machine. We will look in depth at case studies in rapid prototyping, mass customization, tool making, and specialty manufacturing.

MFG12189 – Bringing Machining in House – Where do I Start? Dec 1, 3:00-4:00pm
In-house manufacturing has never been more accessible. In this class experts will walk you through the process of selecting your first CNC (computer numerical control) machine, as well as covering selecting, tooling, and work holding.

IM12186 – High Efficiency Roughing Dec 2, 1:00-2:00
High Efficiency Roughing or HER is arguably one of the most talked about and exciting technologies (and machining techniques) to hit the machining world in the last decade. However, as vendors rush to define terms like high speed machining (HSM) and high efficiency machining (HEM), business owners and CNC programmers are left struggling to make sense of it all. This presentation is designed to educate attendees about high efficiency roughing and how this powerful machining strategy can reduce cycle time and help mold makers increase profits.

FB10373 – Introduction to Lathe Functionality Within Fusion 360 Dec 2, 3:00-4:00pm
Learn to extend the power of Autodesk, Inc.’s, fully integrated CAM Solution for Fusion 360 software. In this class you will see just how easily you can program a lathe part. This class is designed for users interested in lathe functionality for Fusion 360 software; and it will also focus on tips, tricks, and training so users can get the most out of CAM for Fusion 360 software, the integrated CAM Solution driven by the same kernel behind HSMWorks software and Inventor HSM software.

MFG12197 – FeatureCAM Hands on Milling, Turning and Mill Turn Dec 2, 3:00-4:00pm
Feature-based computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems enable users to automate their manufacturing processes to minimize the learning curve for new users, as well as help even the newest user to produce reliable toolpaths quickly and efficiently. Learn how Delcam's FeatureCAM can automatically select the tooling as well as feeds and speeds required, enabling you to standardize your manufacturing processes.

FB9777 – Better CAD for CAM Dec 2, 4:30-5:30pm
Learn how to utilize Inventor software for manufacturing. Discover things to consider when you’re designing parts and you’re creating stock for castings and boolean operations for jigs and fixtures. Then bring your design into Inventor HSM software and machine like a pro.

MFG12193 – ArtCAM – Software for Artistist Rather than Engineers Dec 2, 4:30-5:30pm
Most CAD/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) tools are designed to enable engineers to design and manufacture products. From the very beginning ArtCAM software has been developed to enable artists and designer to create whatever they can imagine. ArtCAM is used in a variety of sectors from jewelry and coin minting, to the design and manufacture of architectural cornicing and facades. The common theme across these sectors is the desire to produce intricate artistic forms with incredible detail that can then be quickly and easily machined or 3D printed. This class will introduce you to the process that will enable you to take a simple 2D drawing and convert it into a complex decorative relief and machine it.

MFG12187-R – CAM Roundtable Dec 3, 10:00-11:30
Meet the members from the Technical and development teams behind the Autodesk CAM Products.

CP9779 – Are you Ready to Learn Inventor HSM, CAM Basics Dec 3, 1:00-2:00pm
We will not just show you how to set up and apply toolpath with Inventor HSM software, but also the important question of why we take the steps. This class will explain to a beginner in manufacturing how you generate your first good code for a CNC (computer numerical control) machine, why something is called WCS, and how to get cutter feeds and speed.

MFG12198 – Off-line Programming of Robots for Machining, Trimming, Polishing and Other Applications using PowerMILL Robot Dec 3, 1:00-2:00
Robots provide a unique platform for machining large volumes as well as for a vast range of other applications, including trimming, gluing, polishing, and the laying down of a huge variety of different materials. This workshop will introduce you to the basic concepts involved in creating the path as well as controlling the robot axis to drive your manufacturing processes.

MFG10365 – 3-Axis Machining and Beyond with Fusion 360 Dec 3, 3:00-4:00pm
This class is designed for existing users of the Fusion 360 3D CAD platform who are looking to take advantage of the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) capabilities. Topics covered will include workholding, multiple setups, multipart setups, 3+2 machining, setup sheet customization, and post processing.

DE12497 – Composite Manufacturing Solution for Optimum Material Nesting and Ply Layup
Dec 3, 2:45-4:00
During this two-part class, we will utilize Autodesk® TruNest Composites to show the complete process from import to nesting to NC part cutting of ply materials. Special focus will be given to optimal nesting for efficient material usage. During the second half, we will utilize Autodesk® TruLaser to perform laser projection for showing composite ply lay-up.

DE12498 – Automated Composite Manufacturing Dec 1, 4:45-5:45pm
This class presents an end-to-end solution for the automated composite manufacturing process. This class will cover advanced lay-up design strategies such as fiber placement, tape layering, and robotics lay-up which are utilized when programming automatic material layup equipment. High composite production rates will be covered through automated robotic material nesting and taping.

FB12940 – Composite Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Automotive Applications
Dec 1, 3:00-4:00pm
Presentation dedicated to composite applications in the automotive marketplace suitable for customers, resellers and the Autodesk automotive team as well.

AT12502 – Composite for Automotive: Design and Manufacturing of High-Performance Chassis for Sports Cars. Dec 2, 8:00-9:30am
Bercella will present a case study about utilizing composite design and manufacturing processes for critical parts such as the chassis, and other key components.

Plate / Sheet Nesting and Fabricating
FB12940 – Composite Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Automotive Applications
Dec 1, 3:00-4:00pm
Presentation dedicated to composite applications in the automotive marketplace suitable for customers, resellers and the Autodesk automotive team as well.

PM12500 – Advanced Solution for Heavy Plate Fabrication Dec 2, 2:45-4:00pm
Thick or heavy plate manufacturing presents its own set of unique challenges. This class utilizes Autodesk® TruNest to show workflows for manufacturing heavy, thick, plates with Oxy-fuel, plasma or waterjet CNC mills. We start with importing geometry and material properties, to automated optimal nesting all the way to generating CNC code for manufacturing.

FB12939 – Maximize Material Yield and ROI on Sheet Metal High-Production Volume
Dec 3, 3:00-4:00pm
Greenheck Fan, title and company, will present a case study about advanced manufacturing solutions for high production volume of sheet metal parts combining punching & laser cutting.

DE12497 – Composite Manufacturing Solution for Optimum Material Nesting and Ply Layup
Dec 3, 2:45-4:00pm
During this two-part class, we will utilize Autodesk® TruNest Composites to show the complete process from import to nesting to NC part cutting of ply materials. Special focus will be given to optimal nesting for efficient material usage. During the second half, we will utilize Autodesk® TruLaser to perform laser projection for showing composite ply lay-up.

Factory Design & Planning
IM12101 – Using FDS to Create Compelling Bid Packages Dec 1. 8:00-9:30am
Selling complex and customized equipment is challenging at best, and creating a compelling bid package is critical to winning more business. This class will show how to use Factory Design Suite software to accelerate the creation of a build proposal, how to create compelling content, and how to create a bill of equipment required for costing the proposal.

PM10277 – Factory Design Suite: Asset Development Checklist Dec 2, 8:00-9:30am
There are so many things to consider when developing assets for Factory Design Suite software. Creating functional assets for your factory layouts can be challenging unless you have a detailed checklist for asset development. This class will provide a step-by-step approach to developing fully functional assets. We will discuss everything from iProperties to Inventor iLogic software. Join us as we explore the process of asset development while examining each step on the checklist.

Novidades GraphicSpeak

Novidades GraphicSpeak

uMake brings sketch-model paradigm to iPad

Posted: 23 Nov 2015 11:59 AM PST

Draw a few lines, then manipulate them in 3D space. A team that includes some of the original developers of what became AutoCAD 360 have created a new iPad app turns sketching into a 3D design experience. The company and the app are both called, uMake, now available in the Apple App Store. The market [...]

Monday, November 23, 2015

SolidWorks e as Dicas do Kastner

SolidWorks e as Dicas do Kastner

Windows 10 e o SolidWorks

Posted: 23 Nov 2015 03:41 AM PST


Segue abaixo o meu texto que foi publicado no blog da SKA

Mais informações »

Lighting the Way to Ambient Intelligence & the Internet of Experiences

Lighting the Way to Ambient Intelligence & the Internet of Experiences

Lighting the Way to Ambient Intelligence & the Internet of Experiences

Posted: 23 Nov 2015 04:03 AM PST


In cities around the world, street lamps are being tapped as an ideal platform for jump starting smart city development. Initially, cities began replacing legacy street lighting with LED bulbs equipped with motion sensors to turn the lights on only when a human being entered the area, boosting the already considerable energy savings of LED technology. Now, cities are realising they can also equip the LED chipboards on these pervasive networks with an extraordinary range of micro-processors and sensors – among them, smoke detectors, noise detectors, pollution meters, seismic activity detectors, weather sensors and smart video cameras – to dramatically expand their lamp post arsenal's role in shaping the intelligent, connected cities of tomorrow.

For instance, Shanghai recently deployed trial smart street lamps that function as lighting systems, Wi-Fi hotspots, Internet access hubs and city services links. Residents or visitors can use voice commands or a touch screen to get local information, charge their electric vehicles, check local pollution levels, or call for help via an emergency call button linked to the city’s public service platform.

And now, if the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is any indication, it seems vendors interested in shaping the next generation of smart homes are also turning to light fixtures as a primary sensory platform. Several startups and incumbent lighting vendors showcased Internet-connected LEDs that are beginning to go far beyond just customisation and remote control of home lighting.

For example, Stack Lighting touted LED lights that can sense motion, ambient lighting and temperature. To realise the value in these sensing capabilities, the lights can be networked with climate-control systems like Nest. However, one of most interesting thing about this lighting system is Stack's claim that its lights are so smart, consumers don't need a smartphone app to control their features and functions: once configured, the lights, in tandem with other home systems, simply adapt to the customers' behaviour and the environment to deliver the right ambient home experience for them.

While it may be up in the air as to which "thing" – if any one thing – in the home becomes the central hub for sensing and control, it was clear from CES 2015 that smart home systems are edging toward a new world of "ambient intelligence."

Ambient intelligence is a concept developed in the late 1990s to describe an era when ubiquitous computing, networked devices, environmental inputs and human behaviour would come together to in such a seamless way as to render technology wholly invisible, with each human being enjoying an experience that perfectly anticipates and adapts to their unique needs and preferences.

This is the world Alphabet Inc.'s (formerly named Google) CEO Eric Schmidt alluded to at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos. Asked for his prediction on the future of the web, he responded: "I will answer very simply that the Internet will disappear." He went on to explain, "There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won't even sense it…It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room." The result? "A highly personalised, highly interactive and very, very interesting world emerges."

As CES 2016 approaches, it will be interesting to see if "No app needed!" becomes a mantra of more and more vendors, to see if technology continues to render itself less and less visible, and if people, places and things continue to synthesise into wholly unique, adaptive experiences.

In short, it will be interesting to observe the degree to which the current Internet of Things evolves into its next natural evolution, the "Internet of Experiences." To learn more about this evolution, we invite you to explore the cover article for the latest issue of Compass magazine, "BEYOND THE IOT: The Internet of Experiences will change the way the world operates."

Autocad Interface

Autocad Interface

Correcting creation and last modified folder attributes using PowerShell

Posted: 23 Nov 2015 06:43 AM PST

The first snow of the season came, over the weekend, so it seemed a good time to write a post that was a little off-piste. :-) It's a topic that I don't recall ever having broached: using PowerShell to mess with files and folders on your hard drive or a...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Novidades GraphicSpeak

Novidades GraphicSpeak

Autodesk reports sluggish third quarter 

Posted: 21 Nov 2015 04:11 AM PST

They told us the move to subscriptions might put a drag on revenue; they were right.    The third quarter did not treat Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) kindly. Revenue was up 2% only when measured in constant currencies; otherwise it was down 3% year-over-year. Subscriptions increased by 80,000 sequentially but deferred revenue fell. Billings fell 4%, and Autodesk reported an [...]

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Novidades GraphicSpeak

Novidades GraphicSpeak

Autodesk updates HSMWorks and HSMXpress

Posted: 20 Nov 2015 07:50 AM PST

Autodesk continues to make good on a promise to support the SolidWorks users who rely on these CAM tools. HSMXpress continues to be free for 2.5-axis milling. Autodesk has updated its HSMWorks line of CAM software, making good on its promise to continue to support SolidWorks users who rely on the software for their computer-aided [...]

Friday, November 20, 2015

Shifting Design Process: The Cassiopeia Camera Experience

Shifting Design Process: The Cassiopeia Camera Experience

Shifting Design Process: The Cassiopeia Camera Experience

Posted: 20 Nov 2015 04:07 AM PST

Understanding the needs of multidisciplinary creative teams

This Article has been written by Teshia Treuhaft and originally appeared at Core 77

The evolution of design as a professional practice is one regularly impacted by developments in other fields. As designers, we often sit squarely between disciplines, streamlining and humanizing products for greater usability and appeal in the end result.

Never has the requirement to work between disciplines been as important as it is today. As industrial design becomes increasingly interwoven with service design, user experience design, engineering, manufacturing and more—designers must act as the bonding agent for teams producing innovative products.

In an effort to further understand these emerging hybrid teams of designers, managers and engineers, companies are going as far as studying the trend of co-creation to optimize for social ideation and more collaboration. Likewise, with the speed of technology and pace of product development, having tools and solutions that allow companies to build faster is proving a greater advantage than ever before.


In order to research the way teams work from the inside out, Dassault Systèmes put together a creative team to design the Cassiopeia Camera Experience. Cassiopeia is a concept for a connected camera that has the functionality of a digital SLR, and allows the user to sketch over photos and scan objects or textures. The team took Cassiopeia from inspiration phase to design validation, allowing Dassault Systèmes to gather first-hand knowledge of the needs of each team member and design solutions that directly enhance social ideation and creative design among the group.

Cassiopeia Camera Experience

Using this research, it becomes clear as the project progresses through different phases, that the requirements of each contributor change and communication between parties gains complexity. While each phase builds on the next, a well equipped team will be able to regularly come together during each phase for design validation.

We decided to take a deeper look at development of the Cassiopeia project for unique insight into the inner workings of a team—one that is not only building a product but a holistic experience.

Inspiration Phase

The inspiration phase of any product demands input from a number of key players inside and outside the company. This is often done by compiling references in the form of articles, visuals, sketches and more. A product manager typically leads this phase, however every member of the team can provide valuable input at this fledgling stage.

Team gathers references and inspiration to define key functions of the product

Communication at the inspiration phase must support amassing source material and then distillation until a key concept emerges. The inspiration phase is particularly important for connected devices like Cassiopeia. In this case, the design team faces not only the task of designing the camera, but also the connected functionality. The complex use cases and physicality of the product must be developed in tandem during this phase for a unified end user experience.

Ideation Phase

Once the inspiration is clear to the team, the work of narrowing the idea down to a discrete set of requirements is the next step. This ideation phase moves the product from discussion of the concept into a physical form for the first time. For this phase, creative designers are tasked to visualize the product for the team, iterate together and repeat.

Rough sketches gives the product a form factor that can discussed and refined at later stages

Sketching in this phase is essential. It allows the team to understand possible variations and begin to make decisions about a number of factors. During ideation, the ergonomic and functional aspects of Cassiopeia merge for the first time into a rough form factor that can be communicated to the team.

Concept Design Phase

Once the product is visualized for the first time using the 3D sketches, the next step is to model the product at scale. An industrial designer will typically model the product in 3D, testing and refining design variations from the ideation phase.

An industrial designer adds scale and refines features of device. 

With Cassiopeia, this is the phase where shapes begins to emerge and the conversation about the product shifts from conceptual to physical. The goals of the design must be clarified and communicated clearly so that the product can seamlessly transition from a design into a physical object that can be considered from a manufacturability standpoint.

Detail Design Phase

Once the industrial designer has taken the design from concept sketch to 3D model, a design engineer takes the model and considers it from engineering and manufacturing perspective. This shift from design of the device to engineering of the device is a careful balance to retain as much of the original concept for the form factor as possible.

Foresight during the detail design phase offers ease of manufacturing and greater success in the final product.

This is a key matter of communication between the engineer and designer in order to deliver a product that not only is aesthetically aligned with the inspiration – but also can be manufactured. For Cassiopeia, this requires a seemingly subtle but highly important refinement of surfaces and geometry.

Design Validation Phase

In the final step, the team must simulate the product in order to engage in discussion and finalize the design. Design validation occurs both in the final steps and at regular intervals during the development. There are two main forms this validation takes, led by a visual experience designer and a physical prototyper. A visual experience designer will create a number of detailed renders, while the physical prototyper will develop physical 3D models.

Visualizing decisions is essential to engage key players inside and outside the team

For Cassiopeia this is a key phase as the camera has a number of complex parts, surfaces and functions. Regular design validation throughout the process gives access to all members of the team to make decisions about the final product. When collaboration is managed well, the multidisciplinary team will arrive at the validation phase having shared expertise at each step of the design process. As a result, the final prototype is a true reflection of their shared vision and is reached more quickly than ever before.

The development process of any electronic device is challenging for teams looking to innovate in their respective spheres. As consumer’s expectations increase for well-designed objects that provide comprehensive product experiences, the ability of teams to collaborate and move quickly will be increasingly valuable. The extent to which teams can effectively collaborate will be a defining factor for success – both for the team and the products they create.

To read more about Dassault Systèmes Solutions and Social Ideation and Creative Design, check out their website and webinar.

Autocad Interface

Autocad Interface

An inspiring video about an old friend

Posted: 19 Nov 2015 05:33 AM PST

A link to a video was posted to Autodesk's intranet, a few days ago. It's about Mark Webb, a friend and colleague based in our Manchester (New Hampshire) office. Mark and I started out at more or less the same time at Autodesk in the UK, in the charming town...

Novidades GraphicSpeak

Novidades GraphicSpeak

Microsoft Hub for design

Posted: 19 Nov 2015 11:09 AM PST

The success of the Microsoft Surface Hub coming in 2016 will be determined by the quality of software developed to make it shine.

SPEC group updates workstation benchmark  

Posted: 19 Nov 2015 08:00 AM PST

SPECwpc V2.0 takes new solid-state storage and multi-core workstations into account. The SPEC Workstation Performance Characterization Group (SPECwpc) has released SPECwpc 2.0, a major upgrade to its benchmark software. SPEC says the update "improves scalability measurement" for workstations with large numbers of processing cores and "fully integrates solid-state storage into performance testing." The new SPECwpc [...]

Thursday, November 19, 2015

“VIRTUAL SINGAPORE: Creating an intelligent 3D model to improve experiences of residents, business and government” plus 1 more

“VIRTUAL SINGAPORE: Creating an intelligent 3D model to improve experiences of residents, business and government” plus 1 more

VIRTUAL SINGAPORE: Creating an intelligent 3D model to improve experiences of residents, business and government

Posted: 19 Nov 2015 04:00 AM PST

Originally published in Compass: The 3DEXPERIENCE® Magazine, written by William J. Holstein

Powered by sophisticated analysis of images and data collected from public agencies and real-time sensors, Virtual Singapore is designed to give a whole new meaning to the term "smart city."

By giving the city-state's citizens, businesses, government agencies and research community dynamic 3D visualizations of wildly diverse scenarios, it can be used to plan everything from emergency evacuations to a perfect night on the town.


Singapore is a small country with a giant plan. In one of the world's most ambitious information technology experiments, the city-state is building a system that will virtualize the buildings, infrastructures, green spaces and almost every aspect of life in Singapore and then display the results as an interactive, 3D replica.

The project, called Virtual Singapore, is led by the National Research Foundation Singapore together with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), and is expected to be progressively developed, with completion in 2018.

Although many cities are working to assemble and analyze their data in hopes of improving city life, Virtual Singapore is unusual because it will allow all users to visualize in 3D how the city will develop and evolve with time in response to population growth, new construction and other major events.

"We will capture the virtualized life of Singapore," said George Loh, director of the Foundation's Programmes Directorate, which includes responsibility for leading the Virtual Singapore project. "For example, it will include demographic data about where elderly people are living, where the businesses and shopping malls and restaurants are, and what the transport schedules are. People can have access to all of that information and make sense of it."

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “We will capture
the virtualized life of #Singapore”

Virtual Singapore will assemble and analyze data that already exists in dozens of government agencies, plus new data collected in real time from smartphones, cameras and sensors, to model and predict solutions to the emerging and complex challenges Singapore faces.

Displayed in the context of a virtual 3D model of the city, Virtual Singapore will enable city planners to test various responses to everything from population growth and resource management to public events and building patterns, and implement those that create the safest, most positive experiences.

"The words they've been using to describe it are 'digital twin,'" said Chris Holmes, managing director, IDC Insights Asia Pacific, who has lived in Singapore for 16 years. "They're looking to capture all the moving parts of the city and to track what is happening in the city in real time."


The Virtual Singapore concept combines several hot technological trends, including big data, the Internet of Things, 3D modeling and predictive analytics. The model will provide information to four basic constituencies.

"It can serve government agencies," Loh said, "but it also can be a platform where people could have access to limited data and they could use applications that make their lives much more convenient.

Businesses also can offer targeted services to their customers.

And the last stakeholder group is researchers, who may have more ideas than government bureaucrats about how to create new technologies and services."

The Virtual Singapore project will support Singapore's vision for creating a "smart nation," but its vision of giving access to citizens and visitors makes it fundamentally different from what other cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, are doing to make their operations "smarter."

As it prepares for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio has created a command-and-control center where information about electricity usage, water and waste management, traffic flow and crime can be collected in real time. But only government agencies will have access to the data.

Singapore's project is more challenging because it envisions giving multiple constituencies access to the data each needs, with controls to ensure that confidential and sensitive data is protected – a complex security and privacy challenge.

"We need to give the right data to the right people at the right level at the right time," Loh said.

The system also needs to be able to serve many different devices. For example, individuals will be able to access the system from smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “#VirtualSingapore gives access to all:
govt, researchers, businesses, citizens”


How will Virtual Singapore help the city, recognized as one of the world’s most livable, maintain that status in the face of rapid growth projections?

As an example, Loh cites the planning required for Singapore to host the Formula One automobile races held there every September, when the government shuts down roads at night and the race cars speed through the city. Huge crowds come to watch the races, but city planners have to prepare for the dangers of evacuating spectators in case of a fiery crash.

Virtual Singapore will help by giving city planners the ability to overlay or "stream in" the locations of people based on signals from their smartphones.

"You will know where all the entrances and exits are, and you know how the crowd will be moving based on the historical data of previous years," Loh explained. "If something really bad happens, through 3D predictive and intelligent agents modeling you can see how people would disperse and how they would behave. You create a plan for how you would evacuate people."

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “Imagine an evacuation plan
based on how people behave in emergencies”

Virtual Singapore will also develop a common data exchange platform, making much of the data that already exists in government ministries easier to access and share in a secured and controlled environment.

Visualization is a major goal of the project so that the aggregated and integrated data from different sources can be "seen."

Related: Civil Design for Fabrication


One implication of the Virtual Singapore project, and of similar efforts around the world, is that the way governments work will change for the better, IDC's Holmes said.

"You're going to see a more integrated approach in government. If there is a sewage leak somewhere in the city, for example, you need to alert transportation authorities, you need the police to block the roads and you need the engineers to attack the problem. If all those agencies can 'see' the problem on the same platform, they will be able to better coordinate their efforts."

Ultimately, the biggest challenge smart city projects face is that of involving average citizens, said Carlo Ratti, director of the SENSEable City Lab at the Urban Planning Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"Crucially, the work must demonstrate concepts that promote interaction and debate," said Ratti, one of the world's most renowned smart city experts. "The goal of design is to generate alternatives and open up new possibilities. The momentum of the crowd can project ideas into the future and spark development; as a result, our work is meaningless unless it ignites imaginations. This implicates each and every citizen."

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Ratti argues that the best smart city projects are bottom up, not top down, because they enlist average people in creating them and then using what is created to deliver tangible benefits.

"The overall goal of real-time information in cities is to help people make better decisions," Ratti said. "Giving data back to those who generate it allows them to be more in sync with their environment."


Virtual Singapore also gives its leaders an opportunity to inspire the city's young people to take up science and technology subjects through projects such as the National Science Experiment (NSE).

The NSE has a dual goal of exposing students to real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while collecting environmental data that can be used to populate Virtual Singapore.

Organized by the National Research Foundation Singapore and the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the Science Centre Singapore and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, the program began in 2015 with a pilot project involving more than 300 young Singaporeans. By the time the NSE ends in 2017, more than 250,000 students are expected to take part.

Each participant is equipped with a simple device called SENSg, which can capture data, including temperature, humidity and noise levels, wherever the devices go. The information is transmitted wirelessly to a central computer server.

Students can go online and log in to see their own data, including their number of steps taken, time spent outdoors and travel patterns. They can also compare notes with friends while discovering the relationship between travel patterns and carbon footprints.

As the students mature and begin to enter the workforce, organizers hope that projects like the NSE will have made using big data second nature for them.

"This is the first step in crowdsourcing of data," Loh said. "The people must be smart. The people must be able to leverage the massive amount of data we are going to make available."

Much of the data that Virtual Singapore will display is already available, although not integrated, in numerical form on computer screens.

One of the key goals of the project is to display that data visually in ways that do not require a user to whip out a calculator to understand the implications.

That's where 3D modeling becomes critical.

"A picture speaks a thousand words, even without doing any analysis," Loh said. "Singaporeans should be able to access those images on their handheld devices. A visual display of a crowded train or bus station, for example, should communicate more information more quickly than mere numbers."

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: #3D Modeling is key: “A picture
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Related Resources:

Civil Design for Fabrication

Virtual Singapore: A Platform to Solve Emerging and Complex Challenges

Virtual Singapore and the Economy of the Digital Twin


George Loh, who leads the Virtual Singapore project as director of the National Research Foundation's Programmes Directorate, has a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) and a master's degree in Industrial Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California (Los Angeles).

He has more than 20 years of experience in information technology, research strategy, high-tech security and systems engineering for the Ministry of Defence Singapore, the Defence Science & Technology Agency and the NRF, where he also manages programs that include National Cybersecurity Research and Development and the Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge.

#3DXforum – 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM North America in Boston

Posted: 18 Nov 2015 09:22 PM PST