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IMAGINA 2009 – the European 3D Community Event – will be held early next year in Monaco. This year’s Imagina started on January 31 and ended on February 1 in Monaco and saw a 15% increase in attendance compared to 2007. The focus at IMAGINA 2008 was on four sectors – Industry, Architecture, Landscape and Territory, and Media and Entertainment.

In 2009, it is time for the automotive industry to demonstrate its creative talents. “Over 40% of our exhibitors have a direct link to the automotive industry. We are setting up a village which will feature such players in driving simulation such as Oktal (France), Antycip (Great Britain), Innosimulation (Korea),  Rexroth (Holland) and Smarteye (Sweden). The list of participants also includes international companies specializing in 3D technologies such as Craft Animations (Sweden), Autodesk (Europe) and Bionatics (France). Other major participants include IGN (France), Immersion (France) and Forum 8 (Japan)” said Laurent Puons, general manager, Monaco Mediax/IMAGINA who was addressing media after the 2008 show.

IMAGINA 2008 had 1668 participants from 45 countries. Over 70 firms exhibited their technologies. In partnership with Renault, the show hosted the 9th Driving Simulation Conference. “The goal of this international conference is to propose to a scientific, research and engineering audience (whether they are suppliers or end users of driving simulators) a complete and multi-disciplinary, state-of the-art panorama on driving simulation. This partnership is a clear indication of the high regard in which IMAGINA is held throughout the car industry and we will develop this type of partner for the next edition.” says Puons.

Automotive Industries caught up again with Mozart Consulting (MC), headed by Victor Waknine, senior consultant and Claude Denoun, automotive and industry consultant for the Imagina event.

AI: What is new at IMAGINA for the automotive industry?

MC: Imagina is the 3D community event which is devoted to cross-market synergies and benefits. In the past, we have observed a need for 3D based technologies in the automotive industry. Imagina 2009 will place more emphasis on 3D contribution into automobile design and production cycles. This will be highlighted in conferences on digital mock-up, extended scope, simulation, hyper-realism and real time. All of the conferences will be conducted by experts in the field.

AI: How does IMAGINA highlight CAD software expertise and innovation in design and engineering solutions – particularly for the automotive sector?

MC: CAD solutions are highlighted by welcoming a larger number of CAD participants. Imagina allows “non-geometrical based” modeling solutions to participate, such as Optis with its flagship product Speos for light analysis and simulation based on physical and optical fundamentals. A-Volute with its Nahimic 3D sound solutions offer a very advanced spatialized sound technique and 3Dconnection from the Logitech Group is developing innovative 3D mice. Those solutions apply directly to various domains of the automotive industry, adding value in terms of design, safety and comfort. 

AI: This year, IMAGINA had a partnership with Renault – what kind of automotive partnerships will the 2009 show have?

MC: The Renault partnership mostly applied to DSC (Driving Simulation Conference). Most other European automotive manufacturers also came to the show and participated as speakers or visitors. This showed us that there was a lot of interest and value in the IMAGINA event. 

AI: What are the dates for IMAGINA 2009 and how is it likely to be differ from earlier shows?

MC: IMAGINA 2009 will be held again in Monaco from 4 to 6 February.
More activities are proposed to allow industrials (buyer profile) and exhibitors (seller profile) to meet in a more effective manner. Therefore, IMAGINA 2009 will be offering master class sessions. 

AI: What percentage of participation in IMAGINA comes from automotive exhibitors and visitors? Is it expected to increase in 2009 and if so why?

MC: Automotive represents around 40% of Imagina’s exhibitors and visitors and we expect a 15% growth in 2009. 

This is because the market evolution is causing the western countries to look for ways reinforce their positions and values in the project cycle: styling, engineering design and innovations. Industrialization and production are clearly influencing the eastern markets and other emerging markets. 

Western automotive companies (car manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, tiers) have been incorporating 3D solutions (CAD, specific applications) for the past 20 years and have reached a level of maturity.

In industrial applications, the “3D world” also involves virtual reality techniques, immersive environments, imaging and aspect rendering, simulators and multi-modal devices. The market shows that these techniques are increasingly being included into product design cycle stages.

Automotive Industries asked Pascal Couchat of OKTAL whether the company would be exhibiting at IMAGINA 2009.

Couchat: The business concept of Imagina mixing exhibition, conferences and private interest meeting (PIM) with industrial decision makers is very attractive and may be unique in Europe. IMAGINA succeeds in the great challenge of renewing its concepts and opening up 3D technologies to cross-market applications. This is particularly evident in the automotive industry. Furthermore, by hosting the Driving Simulation Conference (DSC), IMAGINA is focusing on the core of our market and applications (design, safety and comfort, human factors researches.) Yes we will exhibit within another SCANeR village. 

AI:  What are the new products you plan to showcase in IMAGINA 2009 ?

Couchat: At Imagina 2009 we will showcase our new product, SCANeR Studio. I am convinced that it will be a great success because this is the product that all users of testing and driving simulation software have been waiting for. In addition, we will announce several strategic partnerships which will increase the leadership of SCANeR Studio and bring it to the standard solution in testing and driving simulation.

Automotive Industries spoke to Jacob Runnerström of Craft Animations.

AI: Why is participation in events like IMAGINA important for your company?  What are some of the new technologies you plan to showcase in IMAGINA 2009?

Runnerström: Marketing! Imagina attracts people who are in the right segment for us. Craft Animations has customers in all four segments that IMAGINA focuses on. The event is an excellent forum to meet our users and people in the industry. We had a lot of fun attending IMAGINA last year, not only because of the wonderful and professional IMAGINA staff but we also got to display our technology at the main 3D event in Europe. Craft Animations has put a lot of effort into developing tools that increase quality and speeds up the 3D animation process. This year we will show something special which will make users in the automotive industry very happy. 

Automotive Industries asked Joyce Lim of Forum8 how participation in IMAGINA had impacted on business, and what new technologies Forum8 is developing for the automotive industry.

Lim: IMAGINA was a good platform for us to network and meet professionals and individuals all over the world who are interested in these technologies. Forum8, the developer of UC-win/Road, a 3D real-time VR software, is currently active in the driving simulator market, providing the high quality driving software environment that is available in the driving simulators. We have worked together with automobile partners to deliver this state of the art solution. This easy-to-use platform is widely used by engineers all over the world and increasingly gaining popularity in traffic psychology arenas during phobia therapy and other research studies.

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