Nearly one in every four Americans now owns an e-reader or tablet computer, and that number is growing rapidly.
one in every four Americans now owns an e-reader or tablet computer, and that number is growing
rapidly. In the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, Apple saw sales of its iPad jump
111 percent from the same period a year earlier; an estimated 20 to 30 million
people in the U.S. own one version or another of this market-dominating device.
Meanwhile, worldwide smartphone sales
grew nearly 50 percent in 2011, with
472 million such devices now in use.
Why do these statistics matter? Like it or not, these trends are shaping the
future of everyone in the geospatial professions.
“What we’re doing in our personal lives is setting the expectations for how
we want to work in our professional lives,” said Autodesk President and CEO Carl
Bass during a media summit on March 27. As proof, he pointed out that AutoCAD
WS, the cloud-based CAD editor from Autodesk available as a mobile app, was
released less than two years ago but already has more than 7 million users, with
300,000 files uploaded to the service every week.
“New disruptive pieces of technology are often viewed as toys,” he said. “But
think of how much processing power is in an iPad. It is powerful and will be
increasingly important in the future.”
To underscore that point, Autodesk’s new
2013 design and creation
software suites are designed to take full advantage of the iPad and
other mobile devices through Autodesk 360, the newest version of Autodesk’s
cloud computing platform. Autodesk users can now access cloud services on the
jobsite or in client presentations for rendering, simulation, design
optimization, energy analysis-essentially any process that previously would have
required a desktop computer.
A new interface between the various products also makes workflows simpler and
more cohesive, regardless of how the software is being accessed. The design
suites provide interoperability between widely used programs such as Revit,
Civil 3D, Navisworks and 3ds Max for a more intuitive user experience. In fact,
these programs are no longer available as stand-alone products. Autodesk
describes the new design suites as “cohesive” “interconnected” and
It’s a change the company said is being driven by their customers, who are
inevitably being influenced by trends in the consumer world. Although the
changing workflows will require a shift in thinking, ultimately they open a vast
new world of opportunity for adding value and winning new clients.
“We’re moving to a world where the computing center of the world is where you
are,” Bass said. “It’s a data-centric view in which all tools become available
in a single place.”