With NeoCon 2017 upon us, we’re featuring a series great new products that you can check out in living color at the show. Next up: learn about the latest upgrades to Configura‘s CET Designer 8.0, and stay tuned for more product coverage in the coming weeks.

Tell us about the product.

Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is an intelligent, highly visual, and intuitive space planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries, including the contract furniture industry. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing, and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations, and bills of materials. In other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders.

Some of the specific features coming with the release of CET Designer 8.0:

The ability to create 360-degree movies. With the release of 8.0, the CET Designer Movie Studio Extension will enable users to create and render 360-degree, panoramic videos — offering an incredibly expansive view of a designed space.
Enhancements to Configura’s Virtual Viewer VR Extension. Support for HTC Vive headsets launches with CET Designer 8.0; meanwhile, Oculus Rift headsets already are supported by the Virtual Viewer VR Extension. Plus, Configura’s recent collaboration with Yulio “democratizes” VR through the use of inexpensive 3D headsets such as Google Cardboard. Configura’s Virtual Viewer VR Extension along with a VR headset offers an immersive, virtual reality experience of a designed space. This year at NeoCon, Configura will demo these VR technologies and be giving away Yulio-supported Google Cardboard 3D headsets.
Improvements making it easier than ever to produce photorealistic renderings and 360-degree panoramic renderings.
Enhanced collaboration possibilities for large drawings where different users can work on separate parts of the same drawing and see each other’s work.
How will the product impact the workplace?

CET Designer has changed how workplaces are designed by simplifying and consolidating all into one tool the ability to design, specify, order and more. CET Designer 8.0 increases the already highly visual capabilities of the solution with the ability to show customers panoramic renderings and videos of their designed space as well as offer customers immersive, virtual reality experiences.

CET Designer also makes it easy for designers and customers to collaborate on the design of a space and easily swap in and out new products, colors, fabrics, and other design choices.

CET Designer has become one of the leading space-planning solutions used today. It is used by thousands of designers, specifiers, and salespersons around the world. Global office furniture manufacturers and suppliers that have invested in CET Designer Extensions for their companies and dealerships include AJ, Aurora Storage Products, Bisley, Carvajal Espacios, ChargeSpot, Chief, Connectrac, Dekko, Euro Chair, Haworth, Herman Miller, HON, Inscape, iTab, KI, Kimball Office, Maars Living Walls, Midmark, National, OFS Brands, Oi Furniture, Solinoff, Spacefile, Steelcase, Sunon, Teknion, and Tranquil Systems International.

How does the product contribute to “new ways of working”?

CET Designer encourages designers to collaborate with each other and with their customers in the design of workspaces. “Live” or real-time design is becoming prevalent in the contract furniture and A&D industries. Configura’s highly visual solution helps people focus on the design process and effectively communicate design intent while the software handles the technical details of specification.

Can you tell a story/give an example of a client who has used the product effectively?

At the dealership where Tami Shulsen serves as director of design, various users already are adapting CET Designer to meet their specific needs; CET Designer in turn has changed the way the dealership works. At Configura’s 2016 CET Designer User Conference, Shulsen led a session called “The Changing Role of the Designer” where she talked about how her dealership, Midwest Commercial Interiors, has embraced evolving workplace roles.

“We’re using the technology in CET Designer to communicate with and educate our clients, including doing live design with them; it’s a must — it’s the differentiator,” she said.

Configura has already intuited this design shift, says CET Designer user Paul Riches, a design manager based in Canada: “They have built something far more powerful than just a community of users; they’ve built a tribe … a dynamic collective that is so much more than just the superficiality of its parts … corporate allegiances are tossed aside and users truly exemplify the nature of collaboration. It’s a gathering of curious minds who are constantly reaching, exploring, questioning and inquiring of themselves and each other: ‘What now?’ … If information can be shared and debated, that’s the name of the game.”

Image courtesy of Configura.

Who was the designer of the product?

CET Designer is created by a team of developers led by Göran Rydqvist and Nicklas Dagersten.

What was the inspiration behind the product?

Configura’s solutions were originally inspired by MacPaint, a fun, user-friendly design program popular in the 1980s.

When was the product introduced?

Configura introduced its first software solution in 1990; CET Designer launched in the early 2000s.

What do you think our readers will love about the product?

CET Designer is so visual — it lets designers design and not have to worry about the technical details. The panoramic, fly-thru video, and virtual reality technologies enable designers to create incredible experiences for their customers.

Anything else notable about the product that we ought to know?

CET Designer has been the recipient of several awards, including Best of NeoCon.

Where can we find you at NeoCon 2017?

Configura will demo CET Designer 8.0 at NeoCon 2017 in space 7-5129.

This post is sponsored by Configura.

repost from workdesign magazine