AUGI was invited to the 2012 Media Summit that was held in San Francisco on March 27, 2012. The event was held at their One Market Street address where the Autodesk Gallery is located. It was a gathering of media and bloggers from all over the planet where Autodesk was to unveil their latest releases of software.
Many in attendance had already had the chance to see the next release as part of the Autodesk Beta and Feedback program that allows users to assist in reviewing pre release versions of the tools in beta. By including beta testers in the process, Autodesk increases feedback and troubleshooting by real world users. This lets Autodesk see how things are working prior to the official release. People who participate are put under a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) while they see behind the curtain and try the new tools. There is typically an embargo date that is defined by Autodesk that removes the restriction from those who may have information about the programs prior to an unveiling. This year the date slipped forward and the media and reviewers where given permission to speak after a Japanese outlet slipped some AutoCAD news out early.
The day started with a Facebook webcast hosted by Autodesk on their Facebook page. Media in attendance were at the live broadcast that was held in the Autodesk Gallery. Carl Bass, Amar Hanspal, Buzz Kross, Brian Matthews, and others spoke on the new focus.
Right out of the gate, Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO, stated "AutoCAD WS launched less than two years ago. Now over seven million users are accessing it. 300,000 files are uploaded to AutoCAD WS a week, that's 1,800 per hour, 30 files every minute. This is a proof point of people changing the way they work." Amar Hanspal set the tone for the entire event with the statement: "the two ways to describe our 2013 products are cohesive and cloud-centric." I would add the word “suites” to that. The move toward product interoperability that started back in 2009 was driving the creation of the Suites of products we were going to hear a lot about. Moving to reality capture, we were shown many new features of point clouds and point surfaces that allow quick transitions from photo and laser capture to rendering and walk-thru.
That brought us to the end of the Facecast and we moved to other locations throughout the day to gather more focused information and demonstrations of the new software. One of our first stops was to discuss AutoCAD 2013. The theme of Suites and Cloud continued as they unveiled the AutoCAD Design Suites. I say suites (plural) because there are three flavors to choose from: Standard, Premium, and Ultimate. All of these Suites include Raster Design, a tool that allows you to interact with raster images in a design environment. Pay a little more and you get more with the Ultimate Suite including 3ds Max Design and Alias Design. Quite a package. Cloud is in the box also. You get 3GB of cloud storage with the standard version and when you add on Subscription, you get 25GB of cloud storage.
The day continued with presentations on all the tools, Suites, upgrades and case studies of firms using Autodesk tools to impact their environment. All in all, the event was a prelude to the new tools that are coming. You will have opportunities to see them at Autodesk virtual events and other location base events as the months go forward. But keep your ears open for more on how Suites, Cloud and Subscription can enhance your design flow even more.
Want to see what’s coming… here is a good place to start: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=13456383
Better yet – stay tuned to AUGI for the April issue of AUGIWorld where we do in-depth reviews of the next generation of Autodesk software.