SolidWorks has always been good at attracting high-profile talent to speak at its annual SolidWorks World conference–entrepreneur Richard Branson, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and serial inventor Dean Kamen are just a few of the esteemed folks who’ve participated in the past. Well, this year is no different. The keynote speaker for SolidWorks 2010, to be held January 31 in Anaheim, CA, is (drum roll please) none other than James Cameron.
Wait a sec … isn’t James Cameron a movie guy? He certainly is, best known for directing some of the biggest blockbusters of all time, including Titanic and more recently, the sci-fi hit Avatar, which at costs of upwards of $300 million, is reportedly the most expensive movie ever made. Yet even if Cameron isn’t known for great feats using engineering software tools like CAD, he is known for is pushing the envelope in the use of technology. As part of his work on Titanic, Cameron oversaw the development of filming, lighting and robotic equipment for use in the extreme pressures of the deep, including a mini fiber-spooling, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for deep sea use. More recently, for the Avatar picture, he and his team were the brains behind an image-based facial performance capture system and a real-time 3-D digital camera system to enable shooting of 2-D and 3-D film versions in parallel. The SolidWorks blog says the movie mogul will talk about the development of the 3-D Fusion Camera System, among other things.
Despite his focus on film making, Jeff Ray, SolidWorks’ CEO, said Cameron’s technical journey is akin to what SolidWorks’ users experience every day. “James Cameron does magnificent things with technology and imagination. But in a way, he does exactly what every SolidWorks user does: Confronts technical challenges, works out solutions, brings them to reality and enjoys the success,” said Ray, in a press release. “We’re thrilled to have him at our event.”
I’m betting a lot of diehard engineers and SolidWorks users will feel the same way.