Last week the TED 2011 conference was held in Long Beach California. Autodesk is a TED sponsor and attended as well, showed several examples of great design and technology. This event showcases the latest in Technology, Entertainment, and Design as expressed by passionate top speakers in the challenging timeframe of 18 minutes. This is the premier gathering of the Thinkers, Makers, and Doers sharing ideas and trying to make the world a better place to live.
”TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.” http://www.ted.com/pages/about
From left to right in the above photo. Autodesk’s Jonathan Knowles Director of Strategic Initiatives, Dean Kamen Entrepreneur and Inventor and also founder of FIRST Robotics Competition, Brian Mathews VP of Autodesk Labs, and Autodesk CEO Carl Bass at TED 2011.
Heads Scanned at TED 2011
Autodesk captured the attention and the heads of over 200 attendees in 3D with the Autodesk Labs Project Photofly booth. The custom made booth had 14 low end consumer DLSR cameras mounted and programmed with a custom middleware to take the photos at the press of one button. Then using a web service and cloud computing generates a 3D mesh model from the photos.
Behind the scenes this takes some serious computational cycles for the photogrammetric calculations to determine the 3D points based on changes of a point between photos. On a local machine it not only takes longer to compute but will also slow your machine down as well as limit what other tasks you could be doing. The cloud’s value is not just about web storage and access, but a web service that can distribute and perform system intensive computational tasks faster by using multiple machine cores hosted and maintained by someone else. This is infinite computing, where the resources and number of computer cores is only limited by the amount you want to pay for them, not by your personal hardware or infrastructure.
In theory your run of the mill laptop or tablet computer can compute with the power of a thousand CPUs and GPUs. Imagine a laptop computer with the computational horse power to render 3D photorealistic renderings and animations as easily as the person who has the most expensive and beefy desktop machine, but you get it done faster and cheaper. There can also be benefits by using this shared computing resources as sustainable computing. Most do not use the total computing power of their current computer or infrastructure all of the time. There is a great deal of waste involved such as wasted electricity, materials and other resources. Sharing computing resources are not only good for the environment, but also good for the wallet. This is the same benefits when looking at thick vs. thin clients and virtualized machines.
More examples of the cloud being used by Autodesk are the new online AutoCAD LT trials for those within close proximity to the servers, Project Twitch, Autodesk Homestyler, AutoCAD WS, Project Neon, Freewheel, Inventor Optimization, Project Showroom, Green Building Studio, and more. See Scott Sheppard's blog post on Cloud Computing Autodesk and Cloud Computing - A match made in heaven
Autodesk “The Gallery” Exhibit Area
Autodesk’s “The Gallery” exhibit area had some of the most influential designers, educators, and technology people in the world stop and visit including Bill Gates, Dean Kamen, and several people from leading companies like Wired Magazine, Google, Nike and more. The exhibits included several from the Autodesk Gallery at One Market which is open to the public once a week.
A few of the exhibits featured in Autodesk “The Gallery” at TED 2011:
- The Masdar Headquarters
- The PiCycle
- Autodesk Labs Project Photofly
- An electron microscope exhibit showing self-assembling DNA at the molecular level.
The Autodesk Book “Imagine Design Create”
At TED 2011, Autodesk announced the new book celebrating design and innovation. Every TED 2011 attendee received a copy of this high quality coffee table style book. The book will be made available in the near future. I hope to get my hands on one soon. Autodesk Book - Imagine Design Create
Autodesk Fellow Tom Wujec in a front row seat at the TED 2011 stage. Tom is the editor of Autodesk’s new book Imagine Design Create.
All the photos were provided by Brian Mathews VP of Autodesk Labs
One Man at TED 2011 Changing the World
One important thing I learned from my colleagues that attended TED 2011 was the name Salman Khan and his http://www.khanacademy.org/. Sal is on a one man mission to educate the world one video lecture at a time all for free. The story behind his personal mission is truly inspiring. Not only is Sal super intelligent but he has an amazing skill/talent to boil subjects down to understandable concepts using simple words and sketches. He now has over 2000 free short videos explaining subjects from math to science and from history to complex financial concepts. There are math exercises and even tracking your progress in a knowledge map. KhanAcademy.org will be making the wealth of education available in several more languages thanks to some grants he has recently received such as Google’s Project 10^100. We need more Salman Khan’s in this world.
You must see this: Let's use video to reinvent education which will be used
Learn something “TEDucation”
Watch the TED presentations free online. You can learn new ideas, learn some excellent speaker and presenter skills as well, be inspired to change the world one person at a time like Salman Khan. http://www.ted.com/talks