Novedge: Tell us about yourself and your company. Stanislas Chesnais
Stanislas Chesnais: My name is Stanislas Chesnais and I am the co-funder of 3DRudder , together with Valerio Bonora. Valerio is an Architect and I am what you would call a Serial Entrepreneur.
Valerio has been involved in large architectural and structural projects where 3D tools are used extensively. He worked and works a lot with Rhino3D. His latest projects were La Canopée des Halles and La Samaritaine in Paris.
I previously funded and now run several technology companies. Among them Netsize, a wireless service provider. I am an active investor and board member in numerous of these start-ups.
The two other persons involved in 3DRudder from the get-go are one engineer specialized in electronics and drones, and one software developer. A few others have joined in since. We have been working on the project for more than a year now. Valerio Bonora
Novedge: What exactly is the 3D Rudder and how does it work?
Stanislas Chesnais: The 3DRudder is a revolutionary feet-controlled 3D navigation and motion controller for gaming, virtual reality and 3D design. The 3DRudder is used while seated. The following 5 videos describe in details how it works.
Please note that the camera can be locked or unlock depending upon what the user or the software developer wants to achieve.
The user rests his feet on the 3DRudder, and the device automatically detects them. Calibration takes a few tens of second.The first movement is forward/backward or zoom in/zoom out. It's done by tilting the device forward or backward. You can zoom quickly or slowly.
The same principle applies here when rolling to the left or to the right.
Elevation is controlled by the pedal. The user can choose which pedal will control elevation. The other pedal will then be used to click if needed.
By rotating slightly the device on itself the user obtains a rotation or an orbit. Please note it's not about twisting your feet and legs. It's very subtle.
Overall using the 3DRudder is a surprising experience. First because it's very intuitive and natural with a learning curve of only a few minutes compared to a few days for a 3D Mouse. Second because you can achieve complex movements very easily. Third because your feet movements are very subtle, something that comes as a surprised to everyone trying it.
The following video, where the 4 basic movements are combined, shows it well.
The device will support Rhinoceros 3D and SketchUp. Other 3D software should be announced by the time we deliver the product in May 2015.
Novedge: How did you come up with the idea and where did you find inspiration?
Stanislas Chesnais: The idea of the 3DRudder comes from the variety of work experience.Valerio uses a lot 3D design software such as Rhino or others. He has always seen existing navigation tools (pads, 3D mice, 2D mice..) to be inadequate. He had the idea of using the feet after watching a seamstress working and thought we needed to reinstate those into our digital worlds.I have been involved with virtual reality projects and right away felt a feet-based device could greatly complement HMDs in making the 3D experience more complete and full immersion.Sylvain had been designing drones and wanted something that could help pilot more easily the drones.
Novedge: How is the 3D Rudder going to improve the lives of Architects, Designers, Gamers and 3D Professionals?
Stanislas Chesnais:The 3DRudder is a game changing device for anyone spending time in front of a PC, navigating 3D models or exploring 3D virtual worlds or playing 3D games.
The 3DRudder frees the hands of the user. This way he can do more. Be more efficient or win.Novedge: What's your aim with this campaign and when is the deadline?
Stanislas Chesnais: We are running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
It's a way for us to meet our various markets. Talking to a few people is very different from going global and getting feedback from all other the world.
We want to boost the awareness for the product. Crowdfunding platforms are a very interesting medium to introduce a new product as they draw the early adopters and influencers. Novedge: You are quite an interesting and eclectic team, do you have any fun facts about your partners that can be shared?
Stanislas Chesnais: One of our partners moved to the rue Despieds in Marseille.
Anyone who speaks French will know it means he lives on "Feet Street". What an amazing coincidence!
Most of the R&D has been done in the mobile home of one of us, lost in the countryside and where we did get a Breaking Bad feel. Wanting to put the feet back into the digital world is definitely thinking and acting differently.
Novedge: You are a serial entrepreneur, what's the best advice for people interested in developing their own projects?
Stanislas Chesnais: My advice is actually not mine.
When I was a student I attended a conference with Nicolas Hayek, the founder and former CEO of the Swatch Group. He explained why the Swiss watch industry had failed in the 70s and then reinvented itself and grew tremendously with Swatch at the forefront (Swatch sells the Swatch but owns among the world's most exclusive brands such as Bréguet). His lesson was:
"Success leads to Arrogance. Arrogance leads to Failure. Failure leads to Questioning. Questioning leads to Success."
He concluded: "Go directly to Questioning. You’ll save a lot of time”.
Questioning leads obviously away from complacency towards innovation in everything you do (not just product).
Questioning is the best an entrepreneur can do to create and grow his start-up.
If you happen to be in the Las Vegas area and attending CES this January, you can check out the 3DRudder and the 3DRudder Team in person. Anyone wanting to try the device is welcome to visit the 3DRudder booth @ TechWest / Sands Expo / Eureka Park / Booth 75667.
If you can't wait for the 3DRudder to hit the shelves consider backing up the project on Indiegogo and follow its progress on Twitter. Don't let the 3DRudder be pulled from under your feet, the campaign ends on January 18th 2015!
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