April 28, 2008
3Dconnexion’s SpaceNavigator for Notebooks Ventures off the Desktop
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

3Dconnexion’s SpaceNavigator for Notebooks Ventures off the Desktop

by Susan Smith


3Dconnexion, a Logitech company, has carved out a niche for itself by offering a 3D mouse product that allows users to navigate through 3D workspaces with ease of movement and control. Newly introduced is the SpaceNavigator for Notebooks, a mighty little 3D mouse designed expressly for mobile professionals and enthusiasts who need to be able to access 3D on the go.


3Dconnexion is always differentiating its product line to the point of providing a one-of-a-kind solution.


“No matter what type of user you are, whether you are a student or professional designer, you can find something in this product line that relates to you and your needs,” said Ziva Nissan, 3Dconnexion’s director of product marketing.


SpaceNavigator is their entry level product priced at $59, an affordable alternative that gives the user the ability to navigate through 3D space with more control than they can with a regular mouse. SpaceNavigator for Notebooks encompasses the same benefits as SpaceNavigator but with a “new cap design for more immersive and natural interactions with 3D applications,” according to the press release.


Robustly designed, the SpaceNavigator for Notebooks is durable enough to withstand the rigors of travel, has its own case and slips easily into a laptop bag. Smaller than the SpaceNavigator, the device is easy to use anywhere in the world.


In 3Dconnexion’s view, each person should have the chance to experience 3D at its optimal performance. “I don’t want to zoom one point at a time with a mouse, or pan and be locked into that motion,” Nissan pointed out. “I want to fly myself through an application so that if I’m looking at an object, I want to have the feeling like I’m holding it in my hand. That’s what my devices offer. So now we have a product line that gives all that great navigation and with all the great design features.” Their SpacePilot has an LCD that allows you to see multiple functions being executed and listed.


The company’s goal is to build on their product line and continue to give the same feature set and differentiating products to different types of customers. In the past year, 3Dconnexion has partnered with a number of different application vendors such as ESRI, Google Earth, Virtual Earth, NASA World Wind, and on AEC side: Archicad and Allplan. 3Dconnexion plans to extend new types of applications into brand new markets that have the ability to promote great navigation.


3Dconnexion products offer navigation in “one fluid motion,” and the ability to work with both hands. “A lot of professionals are looking for something that is more efficient, focusing on design rather than tools they’re using,” said Nissan. “Work can always have a certain sense of fun when working in 3D.”


SpaceNavigator for Notebooks trades on its portability, as people often carry their work with them these days. Nissan said 62% of the Mac market is notebook, and Windows is catching up. Although the SpaceNavigator for Notebooks weighs 280 grams (.51 lbs.) it has some heft to account for the fact that you must pull up on the cap. Unlike a mouse that you move around, the device has to adhere to the desk or another surface. SpaceNavigator for Notebooks has half the weight and half the footprint of the entry level SpaceNavigator.


The device can be used on an airline, placed on the empty portion of a laptop, right next to the touchpad. It doesn’t add a lot of weight to your laptop. The new cap design allows you to lift, press and turn the control cap to move through 3D space and zoom and rotate the view with easy control. The cap is contoured so that you can always tell what the correct orientation is as it sits on your desk.


A year ago, Nissan said the Mac community embraced a demo of the driver for the notebook device and said they wanted it for SpaceNavigator so 3Dconnexion built the driver. This year at MacWorld, 3Dconnexion sold 300 devices very quickly. Traditionally, the Mac community has not had as much 3D support as the Windows community, however, Nissan, said it is moving more toward 3D.


The MSRP for the SpaceNavigator for Notebooks is $129.00, a 35% decrease from SpaceTraveler, their popular mobile 3D mouse product that will be discontinued.

The new device has a two year warranty, and will be available from major online resellers such as CDW, Amazon and Apple.com


Nissan said they expect to build products for every type of user, and will build on top of SpaceNavigator, SpacePilot, and SpaceExplorer what their customers want.


Top News of the Week


The Palazzo Las Vegas, a Las Vegas Sands Corp. property, announced that the
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) made its "green" status official with the presentation of a Silver LEED(R) Certificate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) at an award ceremony held today. Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons and David E. Rodgers, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at the U.S. Department of Energy were also on-hand to honor this impressive accomplishment.


Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances


In an effort to promote greater interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in schools across the globe,
Innovation First, Inc. (IFI), a leader in educational and competitive robotics products, has teamed up with
Autodesk, Inc. to co-develop a new curriculum to be included in the popular VEX Robotics Design System Classroom Lab Kits. With Autodesk Inventor software at the heart of the curriculum, it is designed to encourage students and educators to explore the exciting world of robotics and bring real-world experience to STEM teaching methods. Autodesk Inventor software is used by professional robotics engineers throughout the world.


Announcements


Autodesk, Inc. announced that Architectus, an award-winning Australian architectural firm with an international practice, has been selected to receive a Revit BIM Experience Award for its successful use of the Revit platform for sustainable design and its exemplary use of building information modeling (BIM) as a process for inter-discipline collaboration and coordination. The Revit BIM Experience Award is presented to commercial firms, educational institutions and individuals for innovation and excellence in implementing the Autodesk Revit platform (which includes Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP software applications) for use on one or more projects. AEC
Systems, a Sydney-based reseller, introduced Architectus to BIM and the Revit platform, and provided training and implementation services.


Avatech Solutions, Inc. announced their free 2009 Autodesk Rollout series of events for civil engineering and survey professionals. The new 2009 products from Autodesk allow engineers to explore ideas and experience designs before they’re real by evaluating “what if” scenarios before anything is built. Avatech Solutions technical experts will take attendees on a tour through the latest features that will impact the way they work, and open a world of innovation. Attendees will receive answers from certified Autodesk experts to their toughest questions and learn how to increase productivity, reduce errors, and save valuable time. See
website for more information.


Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that registration is open at
www.bentley.com/BEconference/registration for BE Conference 2008 - BEst Practices for Sustaining Infrastructure, being held May 28-30 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md. During this two-and-a-half-day event, decision makers and senior practitioners from infrastructure organizations around the globe, including owner-operators and AEC firms, will share innovative best practices using Bentley solutions. Conference sessions will
address the needs of executives, managers, architects, engineers, designers, builders, and other infrastructure professionals and include user-led content and programs dedicated to 10 "solutions communities": BIM and Beyond, Bridge Information Modeling (BrIM), Cadastre and Land Development, Communications, Oil and Gas, Mining and Metals, Electric and Gas Utilities and Power Generation, Rail and Transit, Roads, and Water and Wastewater. The BE Conference 2008 keynote presentation will be made by Andrew Winston, founder of Winston Eco-Strategies and co-author of the best-seller "Green to Gold."


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