The first day of the Dassault Systèmes Customer Conference in Orlando opened with an homage to Leonardo da Vinci and his spirit of innovation (see video below). His commitment to pushing the boundaries and challenging conventions provides a great reminder as to why we’re all gathered here in Florida.
In his time da Vinci relied on pen and paper to capture his ideas, many of which proved to be centuries ahead of their eventual development. However, beyond his immediate circle of friends, contemporaries and benefactors he had a limited ability to immediately communicate and collaborate with, and then influence the world at large.
Fast forward to the 21st century and, while harnessing the power of inspiration and innovation has remained the same in many respects, how we communicate and share ideas has been transformed beyond all recognition.
We now stand at the crossroads of technology and consumer behavior with the potential for a major disconnect between providers and consumers. In a world where everything seems to be getting smarter (cars, phones, buildings and clothes, for example), how do we ensure that we’re not leaving the consumer behind in our pursuit of developing the next “great invention”?
The concept of Social Innovation was a theme that Bernard Charlès explored in great detail during his presentation today. As a loose definition, Social Innovation focuses on how companies can harness the latest developments in online technology to better understand the consumers’ emotional investment when placing value on new products.
To do this effectively, Bernard Charlès discussed how, in order to create an emotional attachment for a product in an online environment, we have to create a true, lifelike consumer experience. In addition to being easy to use, it has to also behave like and comply with real life. This will enable a consumer to make a true emotional investment and become fully engaged in the online experience.
Taking the opportunity to demonstrate the recently announced 3DVIA Mobile application for the iPhone (http://www.3ds.com/company/news-media/press-releases-detail/?tx_dastypressrelease_pi1%5Buid%5D=2265&tx_dastypressrelease_pi1%5Bcmd%5D=single&cHash=34c3b7f3f4) Bernard highlighted the strides DS has been making to bring the promise of PLM2.0 to life. While still at an early stage, it’s these types of applications that will help to promote a greater understanding and foster a stronger emotional investment amongst consumers who want to actively participate in a broader community and the innovation of new products.
What does this mean for the future? Unlike Leonardo da Vinci, who often had brilliant ideas in splendid isolation, we are now on the verge of being able to capture the collective genius of a truly global community in the process of innovation. Perhaps we’re about to enter another golden age of human innovation – only time will tell!!
Disclaimer: A customer asked us to edit out a few seconds of the video, so I’ve taken it down until it’s ready.