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Siemens and Sony Showcase NX for VR at Siemens Realize Live 2024

Cloud-Hosted NX X, Partnerships with NVIDIA and Microsoft, and More

Cloud-Hosted NX X, Partnerships with NVIDIA and Microsoft, and More

At Siemens Realize Live 2024, Siemens and Sony jointly introduced NX Immersive Design on Sony Head-Mounted Display. Image courtesy of Siemens.

In May, Siemens Digital Industries Software (Siemens) held its annual user conference, Siemens Realize Live, at the convention center in Mandalay Bay (Las Vegas, NV). During the keynote Tony Hemmelgarn, Siemens’s President and CEO, revealed his vision: comprehensive digital twins in the Metaverse. “We have to change the way people work, the different ways of collaborating … We're talking about the industrial metaverse,” he said. 

To realize this vision, Siemens had been aligning the necessary building blocks: partnerships with NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Sony, among others. 

Historically, design and simulation software programs are not known for ease of use, but Hemmelgarn believes AI is about to change that. “Things like constraints, loads, forces, pressures, and temperatures can be really complex. If you don't put these constraints right, it's garbage in, garbage out, so you'll have a problem. With AI, you can enhance this process,” he said. With an injection of natural language processing and reduced order models, Hemmelgarn believed, “We can start putting [these tools] in the hands of the generalist engineer.”

Like many of its competitors, Siemens is now beginning to view AI as part of its strategy to expand its user base. AI-powered features have become part of its Xcelerator products: for example, Teamcenter Assistant, NX Generative Design, Solid Edge Generative Design, Simcenter Reduced Order Modeling, and more. The company promises to deliver Copilot for Siemens Xcelerator, Teamcenter Semantic Search, NX Material Prediction, Solid Edge Automated Drawings, and more in the near future.

Sony and Siemens to Bring NX into VR

One critical piece in Siemens' Metaverse strategy is Sony. At Siemens Realize Live, the two companies revealed what they’d been working on: NX Immersive Design, delivered through the Sony Head Mounted Display (HMD). During the keynote, Sony’s Deputy GM for XR, Henry Kondo, showcased the XR headset.

“Our head mounted display has a stunning 8K video fidelity—4K per eye. Also, you can wear it in comfort all day. It's armed with this unique controller that provides precise control, to interact with digital objects, almost like you are in the real world,” said Kondo. “This tight integration of software and hardware is a new thing in digital twins.”

Many VR applications allow you to view and collaborate around life-size digital twins, but in the Siemens-Sony implementation, the NX Immersive Designer software allows you to launch NX, access its design tools, and modify the design in VR. In the press announcement, Siemens said, “Sony’s XR head-mounted display is a fundamental part of the forthcoming NX Immersive Designer, an integrated solution that combines Siemens’ industry leading product engineering software, NX, exclusively with Sony’s breakthrough XR technology to deliver immersive design and collaborative product engineering capabilities.”

Siemens and Sony partner to bring NX Immersive Designer, including Sony’s XR head-mounted display (HMD), SRH-S1, to market later this year. Image courtesy of Siemens.


At the event, Seiya Amatatsu, head of Sony's XR Technology Development Division, described how his team relied on Siemens' NX software to help develop its new HMD. The SRH-S1 includes an XR head-mounted display with 4K OLED Microdisplays and controllers for intuitive interaction with 3D objects. Sony has been using the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio as its primary product engineering software since 2015.

“Sony succeeded in implementing NX in the fastest schedule in the world and we were able to improve our design process productivity by 25%. Although significant advancements have been made with NX, I wanted to achieve further evolution with a product that brings innovations allowing direct editing in an immersive environment. I believed that could be realized with Siemens and as a result, the XR head-mounted display was developed that could bring innovative products to market more rapidly,” Amatatsu said.

Siemens' NX Immersive Designer is expected to launch at the end of 2024.

“The tight integration of the hardware and software gives designers and engineers all new, incredibly natural ways to interact with the Digital Twin,” said Hirohito Kondo, deputy general manager, XR Business Development Division, Product Management Department of Sony. “This is about doing meaningful hands-on engineering. That is why the image quality is so important—as well as the precision of the controls and even the comfort of the headset—because together, it lets you collaborate more, engineer better, and innovate faster. It lets you do real, meaningful engineering—and without ever having to build a physical prototype.”

Hardware to Power NX Immersive Design

For real-time interactive experience with NX Immersive Design, the Sony HMD can be powered by a professional grade GPU-accelerated workstation. In the solution center at Siemens Realize Live, users had the chance to try out NX Immersive Design, powered by a workstation with dual NVIDIA RTX 6000 Ada GPUs. Hardware partners such as Dell offer workstations certified to run Siemens NX and other packages from the Siemens portfolio. 

Collaboration With Microsoft

During the conference, Siemens and Microsoft announced that, “In response to growing customer demand, the Siemens Xcelerator as a Service portfolio will become available on Microsoft Azure, beginning with Siemens’ Teamcenter X software for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).” Previously the two companies worked together to enable field technicians to report issues in natural language, via the Teamcenter app in Microsoft Teams

According to the latest announcement from Siemens Realize Live, “Siemens is also developing a Copilot for Microsoft 365 plugin for the Siemens Teamcenter app on Teams ... They will be able to ask Microsoft Copilot for help with summarizing outstanding tasks and workflows out of the comfort of their Teams app.”

Hemmelgarn said, “Together, we’re going to make sure that our AI capabilities are coupled together with PLM on Microsoft Azure, and as a start, we’re going to have Siemens Xcelerator as a Service run on Azure to give our customers a choice. It’s so important because now we can integrate what we do with the data we have in Teamcenter with Microsoft’s AI.” 

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