I like the trend of big software companies to expose some of their development projects for us to not only follow, but test and use. Yet another step towards us using beta software all the time for everything perhaps, we want new things fast and this is the result - in most cases very cool.
Autodesk Labs offer a suite of tools and smaller applications all pushing some kind of boundary, be it in integration, functionality or collaboration. Here are some of the intersting ones (wish I had time to try them all out):
Photo Scene Editor (Project Firefly)
New software to convert photos into 3D models for ImageModeller
The myriad of ways that exist to convert our real world into a digital model are all still works in progress, this adds to that set and looks to be making it very approachable for the Autodesk software users. And it certainly looks very cool in the video.
Real-time interaction and visualisation of models and spaces.
The almost AR interface that is used in this video showing off the Newport tech is interesting, abstracting the interface like this almost seems like a step backwards, but it does start to re-enforce the link between the architectural plans and what they represent for the customer.
Point Cloud Tool (Project Helix)
Point Cloud import and manipulation toolset for 3ds Max.
Like Project Firefly we get a toolset that enables us to work with imported data, instead of photos we are going straight to point clouds here and using the 3ds Max environment to have our fun.
Plus here are a few that I would love to see more of here in FBE, for education and discipline specific reasons:
Project Neon : Rendering via the cloud.
Multitouch : their huge mutitouch screen tech.
STL Exporter : Getting Architectural elements into 3D printers and laser-cutters = neato.