The 3D technology is increasingly popular,not only to fans of virtual worlds and “second lives” but to companies like Dassault Systemes, worldwide leader in the technologies of virtual reality and 3D simulation software for the design and management of the life cycle of the product, which recently announced the acquisition of Archivideo, a French company and a global leader in the creation and automated management of large 3D urban environments and landscapes. The acquisition of Archivideo, already in the air by the end of April, according to a well-known corporate, “opens new horizons to Dassault Systemes’s strategy and 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which extends its scope to cover urban planning thanks to proven technologies for modeling cities and landscapes in 3D”.
It is unknown how much Dassault Systemes has paid for Archivideo but Bernard Charlès, President and Ceo of Dassault Systemes, stated that is is “an important acquisition for our company” (although materially impact will be minimal since the turnover of Archivideo is about 1 million euros per year, while that of Dassault Systemes is over 2 billion, ed.) adding that “the next step for sustainable planning is to imagine cities, countries or industrial fields in 3DEXPERIENCE universes”. Dassault Systemes’s goal is “the harmonizing of products, nature and life through 3DEXPERIENCE universes. With the integration of Archivideo technology within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we will provide a 3D model of any country to simulate “what if” scenarios of energy, transportation, or construction flows compliant with reality”.
In short, the idea seems to be able to provide three-dimensional maps to local operators accustomed to 2D floor plans and manage the urban territory as if it were a kind of Sim City? In fact, compared to “user generated contents” virtual worlds like Second Life, these three-dimensional models of cities gather in a homogeneous and precise different data sources (from open data to proprietary informations), by providing a single model of an independent reference for all stakeholders. Thanks to Archivideo technology and its heuristic geo-photographic modeling techniques and procedural modeling technologies, explain the note, “complex urban and geo-environment models can be quickly created, with deep detail and tight mapping to the real-world environment”. In short no flights of fantasy: when virtual worlds are used for the “business” to adhere as closely as possible to reality is an essential prerogative.
But who is using this type of product? Archivideo has so far been able to count on more than 250customers including municipalities, public utility companies and technology companies but according to Dassault Systemes the potential of its technology and possible applications “is broad” and the acquisition also enhance the 3DEXPERIENCity Innovation Lab, allowing to “help countries like China that are facing urbanization complexity to anticipate country development and to improve citizens’ quality of life”, pointed out Bernard Charlès. In short: virtual environments (or worlds), very real, useful to imagine the future of vast areas of the planet, the opposit of “out of fashion” platforms.