By:
March 09 2017

Ian Fleming, too, realized that visualization is the future

Did you know Ian Fleming predicted 3D configuration in the old James Bond movies?

 

My dad was a major James Bond fan so when I grew up in the 80's we were watching a lot of classic James Bond movies. I must have seen every one of them at least three times (my favorite being 'The man with the golden gun')! During the 80's, and as a kid, the movies did not feel so dated but it is quite fun to watch them nowadays. Especially since all the technological, "super modern" gadgets they are using (like watches with lasers, cars with revolving license plates and spy cameras) all feel so ancient.

 

My favorite gadget of them all is from ’For your eyes only’ (1981) starring Roger Moore as 007. In this movie, there is a scene where a witness is helping out in identifying a villain to MI-6. Since this is MI-6 they are not using a normal sketch artist but instead the most state-of-the-art computer there is (think early 80’s "state of the art"), together with an amazing 2D-configuration software, in order to create the phantom picture of the villain. The software is literally just a green outline of a human face with very crude details.

 

So, the witness describes the villain while the computer sketch artist adjusts this extremely crude phantom picture: "How wide was the nose? This wide? OK, a bit smaller, then". After configuring this extremely simplified phantom picture, they print it out on yet another state-of-the-art dot-matrix printer. The funniest thing though, and the reason I remember this so well, is that despite the super simplified phantom picture the print out looks exactly as the villain in real life! It is truly hilarious! Check it out here.

 

What makes this interesting for me though is that Ian Fleming predicted already in the early 80's what we are currently doing today with our 3D configuration visualization software. Nowadays, with the Tacton CPQ, you can alter a configuration and see the adjustments visualized as a 3D image in real-time. The idea of it is really not that far away from the James Bond-movie but instead of adjusting the size of a nose, we usually adjust the size of a nozzle. Still, the principle is the same. Well, except maybe the 2D line-graphics and the need for a dot-matrix printer... Maybe we should create a 3D configuration solution for phantom pictures and give MI-6 a call?

 

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