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Interactive cover of Compass Magazine is the coolest engineering marketing of 2015 so far

I just got a copy of the Compass Magazine from Dassault Systemes.  Here’s the cover:

Compass 3D experience strategic marketing magazine cover

After downloading the magazine’s app, see what happens to the cover in 3D when I point my iPhone at it:      

A 3D model is generated using an app

Dassault 3D magazine app navigationThe effect is extremely cool.  Pointing my iPhone at the cover loads a 3D model of the cover into my phone.  I was able to explore the model, rotate, pan and zoom in to see things that aren’t visible from the 2D view in print.  For example, I could look at the queen from behind or from the side.  I could see pieces on the chess board that aren’t visible on the magazine cover.

It gets better.  The app showed navigation buttons on the side with links to Fashion, Automotive and Aerospace.

Clicking on the navigation launched other images onto the screen, again showing products that I could manipulate to view, and even change colors.  I chose “Automotive” and the app loaded an image of a Corvette that again appeared as though it was on my desk.  Our web developer, Michael said, “What kind of sorcery is this?” 

3D marketing to engineers - here's a 3D model of a Corvette

There is no question this is cool.  But is it useful to engineering marketers?

Dassault wants us to imagine using this technology to demonstrate products to customers at the concept stage, before there are even physical prototypes.  Many marketers do this now with the help of engineers in their product development teams.  But having this technology available to anyone with a phone is a breakthrough.  It democratizes the availability of concept designs.  Engineers and non-engineers alike will be able to see and comment on product concepts. 

Bernard Charles, CEO of Dassault says this about their 3DEXPERIENCE platform, “This is the ultimate aim of fusing marketing and engineering in a seamless experience, in which you can’t decide whether the story shaped the product or the product sharped the story.” 


Eliminating the usual hassles to sharing 3D models of your products

The Dassault development team has eliminated a lot of the friction that is usually required to view a 3D model.  Anyone with an iPhone can do it in less than a minute with no registration other than your Apple ID.  Here are the steps:

  1. On your iPhone, open the App Store icon
  2. Search: 3DS Compass Magazine 7
  3. Download and open the free app
  4. Point your phone at  the cover
  5. Move your phone slowly right and left; the 3D model will follow you motions
  6. Click on the product icons; explore each product in 3D

What I don’t know is whether this app:

  • has all of the imagery pre-loaded so that it only works with this single magazine cover, or
  • will recognize and load models from future covers. 

If it is a single purpose app for sharing pre-loaded models, then it is very interesting for marketers, but each new build will take a lot of development time.  But if they are demonstrating a general purpose app that can load future models, then congratulations are definitely due to the Dassault development team. 

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.


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