The early part of this millennium has witnessed the emergence of an Internet-based engineering marketplace, where engineers, designers, and manufacturers from small and large companies are collaborating through the Internet to participate in various product development and marketing activities. This will be further enhanced by the next generation manufacturing environment, which will consist of a network of cooperating engineering applications, where state of the art multi-media tools and techniques will enhance closer collaboration between geographically distributed applications, virtual reality tools will allow visualization and simulation in a synthetic environment, and information exchange standards will facilitate seamless interoperation of heterogeneous applications. In this presentation, I will discuss several technologies that are being developed to make the above vision a reality.
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