The investment required by Autodesk to explore cyberspace interaction is modest, comparable in size and expense to most other in-house product development efforts. A group of three or four programmers should be able to demonstrate a cyberspace environment within two to three months after project inception, with capabilities added to the system, interfaces built to existing and new products, and adaptation of the system to new hardware systems progressing as work continues after the initial system is demonstrated.
The initial experimental system would be built by cobbling together off the shelf hardware, probably engaging the services of a hardware consultant to help us assemble the gizmo. After this initial system was built (I believe that $25,000 is plenty of money to fund its construction), development would focus on software designed for easy portability to new hardware as it became available. Autodesk would use the initial experimental system to interest hardware vendors in working with us on cyberspace technology. After we demonstrate what we can do with the crude original system, I suspect that we will have no problem finding vendors eager to develop more powerful, professional, and inexpensive solutions to the problems of cyberspace interaction. Once again, Autodesk's preexisting close relationships with hardware manufacturers give us a large advantage over others in promoting this technology.
A project of this scale should begin to yield deliverable results, both new products and cyberspace additions to our existing products, in about a calendar year after inception. Because of the necessity of involving hardware companies in the project and the time it will take to explore the potential of cyberspace before beginning to design products, I don't believe a larger project would yield results any faster.