The amazing experience at Autodesk University 2022 (AU) started out with The Wild being mentioned during the general session keynotes! The Autodesk XR team, including The Wild and Prospect by IrisVR exhibited at this year’s AU in New Orleans. It’s been three years since Autodesk held AU in person. This year AU had more than 9,000 attendees and tens of thousands more watched online, connecting with industry experts across AEC, design, manufacturing, and media and entertainment.
In addition to the commitment to XR mentioned in the keynotes, there were a few major takeaways for attendees, including Autodesk's new cloud platforms, Flow, Fusion, and Forma; platforms that are a massive leap to bring better connectivity for project stakeholders and data. Also, Epic Games’s Twinmotion partnership with Revit instantly enables real-time rendering for high-fidelity visualization, further solidifying VR as a standard part of Autodesk's AEC workflow.
“After attending AU for years, it was thrilling to see The Wild mentioned on the mainstage as a key part of the future of Autodesk. It was the culmination of so many years of work from our team and the community of advisors and customers that have championed The Wild and Prospect,” said Autodesk’s Gabe Paez, Head of Product, XR.
Showcasing XR solutions
The XR team was in the AEC Industry Zone within the Expo Hall showcasing current Autodesk XR solutions, The Wild and Prospect for IrisVR.
The team also shared with attendees a tech preview of the next generation of The Wild. AU guests were excited to see the solutions the XR team is currently developing. “The line to try out the VR demos was nonstop,” said Austin Baker, Product Marketing Manager, XR. “The highlight was always seeing people’s reactions after they took off the headset and realized they had just returned back from a real design review with colleagues from across the world.”
In Person Builds More Trust
The commitment of the AU attendees demonstrated the importance of meeting in-person to fully connect, learn, and accelerate. Participant feedback from our VR design review demos and Idea Exchange sessions confirms that sharing a physical presence (even virtually) makes work feel more meaningful and productive. “It was refreshing to hear the stories of our customers about using XR through the pandemic and to discuss their ideas for the future in person. The passion of the community that has formed around XR is really exciting to experience, and AU brought it to life,” said Paez.
The XR team also took part in several panels at this year’s conference. Among them, Autodesk’s Nicolas Fonta, General Manager, XR, hosted, “AR/VR Enhances Workflows, Fuels Collaboration, and Improves Decision Making.” The panel of customers and experts in the fields of construction, entertainment, technology, shared their insights on the use of VR and AR, and discussed the future for building XR capabilities for the AEC market.
The team also participated in “Women in XR: Changing How We Work, Pay, and Interact.” A panel including Melissa Chan, Head of Design, XR, along with other leading women in XR in technology, and AEC, and media industries shared ideas and insight about their experiences within the XR industry.
Gabe Paez participated in “The ETail Metaverse: Immersive Visualization to Grow Your Target Market,” a panel about how Autodesk technology supports the digital retail experience, and how the Metaverse will impact buying decisions.
Overwhelming and exhilarating
“Through back-to-back customer meetings, airtime during both main keynotes, panels, the Idea Exchange, press visits, XR meet-ups, and a constantly busy booth with people in headsets, the experience was both overwhelming and exhilarating,” shared Fonta.
The XR Meetup we initially had scheduled proved so popular, a second one was added. Members of the team met and interacted with customers, partners and colleagues in the XR and AEC communities.
"It was great to be able to connect with so many XR enthusiasts at our meet-up. Hearing firsthand what their vision is for XR at Autodesk was inspiring and we came away with many ideas that I am excited to start putting into practice," said Emily Oster, Head of Sales, XR.
The XR design team also hosted an Idea Exchange during the event. Participants were offered the opportunity to provide feedback on the XR tech preview of the next generation of The Wild. “The Idea Exchange was a game changer for us. Our ability to have meaningful feedback will benefit our customers in ways we didn’t have the resources to achieve before,” said Nick Lambert, Customer Success Manager, XR. “I’m confident that what we learned from just those few days will have an incredibly positive impact.”
The feedback from attendees was extremely valuable in helping the team gain insight about expectations, and interactions. “Being able to test our VR prototypes in person was invaluable. You can learn so much by watching someone use the hardware and understand their experience so much better when you can talk to—and observe them—in real time,” said Chan. “All of the conversations we had throughout the week validated some of the core workflows we are trying to unlock and will help us to focus in on what's going to provide the most value to users.”
At this year’s AU, the Autodesk XR team came away with renewed purpose and energy to continue to deliver innovative XR solutions. “It was absolutely energizing to reconnect with users at Autodesk University, to hear about the successes customers have been having with Prospect and with The Wild already, and to really feel the excitement about our vision, strategy and where we are going next,” said Fonta. “I can't wait to be back next year and show the latest progress from the team!"