Siemens and Sony join force to bring NX to VR with NX Immersive Designer software on Sony Head Mounted Display. Image courtesy of Siemens.

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Siemens Realize LIVE 2024: Betting on the Metaverse

Siemens, Sony Tout NX Immersive Design with Sony Head Mounted Display

Siemens and Sony demonstrate how NX users might use VR for design creation and collaboration

This week, inside the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, baby stroller-pushing parents in floral shirts and laptop-lugging executives in dark-blue suits crossed paths, where the walkways to the Shark Reef Aquarium and the Siemens Realize Live conference happened to intersect. While vacationers dipped and splashed in the hotel's 11-acre swimming pool outside, a DJ pumped pop music in the ballroom as the prelude to the keynote. In the late afternoon, as the sun began glowing softer outside, Tony Hemmelgarn, President and CEO of Siemens Digital Industries Software, stepped up to the stage.

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. 

Henry Kondo, GM of XR, Sony, introduces the Sony Head Mounted Display, to be used with Siemens NX Immersive Designer software. Image courtesy of Siemens.

The Move to the Cloud

The centerpiece for AI-driven simulation is Siemens' browser-based Simcenter X, part of the Xcelerator portfolio. “Now, using just a browser, [users] can have access to world-class simulation capabilities, that are trusted by the world’s leading innovators,” said Jean-Claude Ercolanelli, Senior Vice President, Simulation and Test Solutions, Siemens Digital Industries Software. “We plan to expand Simcenter X beyond Simcenter STAR-CCM+ as part of our ongoing transition to SaaS.”

Similarly, Siemens now offers its flagship design and simulation package NX in a cloud-hosted version as NX X. “A cornerstone of the Siemens Xcelerator as a Service cloud-based portfolio of industry software, NX X delivers industry leading product engineering capabilities as-a-service, enabling customers to free up resources, so they can scale and focus on innovation,” said Siemens in its announcement.

Digital Threads to Weave Digital Twins

During the conference, Siemens and Microsoft announced an expansion of its partnership. The two 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 Teamcenter app in Microsoft Teams. “This means that users such as a service engineer will be able to leverage the app, which includes Azure OpenAI services, to quickly capture problems in the field or in a production environment. The user will be able to speak their natural language into their device using speech-to-text. The Azure OpenAI services will translate this to the preferred language as well as prepopulate the fields in the problem report form,” said Justin DiNunzio, Marketing Manager, Siemens Digital Industries Software.

According to this week's 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.”

With these partnerships, Siemens is weaving the digital threads to tie together what it calls “comprehensive digital twins.” Hemmelgarn said, “We take all of this data, and we put it into the backbone. That allows us to build industry specific roadmaps ... kind of like a subway to go to point A to B.”

Recently, at NVIDIA GTC, Siemens and NVIDIA announced a partnership to “collaborate to enable the industrial metaverse and increase use of AI-driven digital twin technology that will help bring industrial automation to a new level.” The agreement is expected to “connect Siemens Xcelerator, the open digital business platform, and NVIDIA Omniverse, a platform for 3D-design and collaboration.”

Sony and Siemens to Deliver NX in VR

More details about Siemens' metaverse strategy emerged at Siemens Realize Live, with a demo of what Siemens and Sony are working together. The two company plans to bundle Sony's head-mounted display (HMD) with Siemens NX software, creating a collaborative design solution. At Realize Live, 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.”

For more, read our coverage of this partnership here.

More Siemens Digital Industries Software Coverage

Siemens Digital Industries Software Company Profile

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Kenneth Wong

Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. Email him at [email protected] or share your thoughts on this article at

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