Recognizing the growing importance of 3D life in the virtual world, Siemens PLM Software is expanding its presence in the popular Second Life community with a new tool that lets visitors create their own 3D Razor Scooter while exposing them to the possibilities of CAD software.
Siemens PLM Software’s “Innovation Connection” island within Second Life was established to introduce Siemens and its CAD offerings to two groups of users: the emerging Generation Y, which frequents online communities and knows little of CAD and its traditional user base, which is increasingly turning to new online forums for improved collaboration both internally and with customers.
Second Life is a 3D virtual world with more than 12 million residents from over 100 countries. “We’re trying to provide a faint glimpse of what it’s like to use our tools and what we’re all about,” says Chris Kelley, vice president, partner and platform marketing at Siemens PLM Software.
The new interactive tool in Siemens’ Second Life island is modeled on its Solid Edge 2D/3D hybrid design system, giving visitors the opportunity to click through a range of selections to create a custom-built scooter in less than a minute. Visitors can configure the scooter, choose handle-bar styles and wheel colors, rotate and spin around the model in an immersive 3D environment and then save the model to take with them to their next Second Life experience, Kelley says.
Virtual communities like Second Life are increasingly becoming important collaboration forums for companies, according to a new report from Forrester Research Inc. titled “Getting Real Work Done in Virtual Worlds.” The report notes that virtual worlds have advantages over other approaches to communication and collaboration, including the ability to “let people work with and share digital 3-D models of physical or theoretical objects.”
Siemens PLM Software’s Kelley agrees. “The mechanics of being able to participate in a meeting in Second Life makes up for a lot of what you’re missing when you’re talking on the phone,” he says. “And not just for internal collaboration, but for collaboration with customers.”
At its user conference this summer, Siemens PLM Software plans to augment its Second Life offerings with a tool for bringing geometries created in CAD tools such as Solid Edge or NX into the environment to share with customers or partners, Kelley says.