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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Autodesk Design Review on the Apple iPad - It is Alive in the Lab

It's been a month since I got my iPad and I must say I'm a little disappointed. I'm disappointed that they've only sold 2 million of them because it's truly the most amazing device I've ever laid my hands on. The speed of my iPad is astounding. Everything opens instantly, it does almost everything I want or need on a daily basis and the potential of it amazes me.

Quite simply, the ability to have a device with an 11 hour battery and always on internet makes the portability and accessibility of information infinite. You'd think after a month, you'd get bored of a new toy, but I'm finding that I use it more and more every day. The only thing that really pisses me off is that I don' t get commission for selling them. Every time I travel, including this past Wednesday and Thursday, you can't imagine the number of people who come up to me and ask me, "is that the new iPad?" I go through the list of all of the things that I love about it and every time they say that they're going to buy one.

So, what's missing on it? Revit Revit Revit!!!! Citrix has a demo client that you can download and play with Design Review, but there needs to be the ability to add clicking and dragging via finger gestures. I got GoBIM, a program where you can export your Revit model and view it on the iPad. It's pretty cool. Once we have the ability to be inside a building and be inside the model of the building at the same time, we've reached BIM nirvana.

So, why is Autodesk wasting their time making AutoCAD for the Mac when they could actually make so much more money supporting BIM is beyond me. Someone needs to tell the AutoCAD developers that it's time to focus on something more relevant. Yes, I know, there are still millions of people using CAD. Fine. Use CAD for detailing, but I'm talking about what's needed for the construction industry and that is BIM. When so many people I talk to keep saying that all they need is release 14, it just means that someone in the tower isn't listening. How many more ways are needed to draw lines anyhow?

Back to my main point, there are going to be a lot of companies developing slates. Will they compare to the iPad? I doubt it. The way I see it, the iPad/iTouch/iPhone are either the dumbest operating systems you've ever seen, or the most elegant. They're idiot proof. They require zero IT intervention. My two year old can use it. My grandmother can use it. They've replaced high tech with high touch. This is going to be the device that scares more IT professionals than anything because it will make them extinct. See how many will tell their companies that they won't support it because it's untested technology. It'll be the same people who have an iPhone and they're just another group trying to hold onto job security by controlling the information.

Wow. Did I just say that? Who controls the information. Again, it's all about the information. Oh well, this has run on long enough...more later.

Source: http://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/2010/06/autodesk-design-review-on-the-apple-ipad.html#tp

This is Software Engineer, Frederic Loranger, at work in our San Francisco office.


Frederic has been heavily involved in Project Twitch for a long time now. Most of his work has centered on hosting Autodesk applications on servers featuring a video compression technology that has very low latency - even for 3D.

Frederic has also been working on related items like hosting Autodesk applications on other platforms. For example, here is AutoCAD LT running on a server but accessed from an iPad. We can also do the same approach for Autodesk Design Review.


We are not at the point of having an Autodesk Labs technology preview with this particular technology, but if there is interest, it is something we could consider. Let us know your level of interest at labs.trials@autodesk.com. How do you feel about requiring an Internet connection? What are your thoughts about storing your designs in the cloud?

Pondering the possibilities is alive in the lab.

Autodesk Design Review on the Apple iPad - It is Alive in the Lab


Randy Deutsch June 8, 2010 at 10:24 AM  


Great post!

Seth Godin today ("Paperback Kindle") wrote

"I saw a two-year old kid (in diapers, in a stroller), using an iPod Touch today. Not just looking at it, but browsing menus and interacting. This is a revolution, guys."

I didn't realize you were neighbors ;)


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