Thursday, 17 January 2008

TUV Nord

I recall posting something quite a long time ago about the German city of Hamburg - or rather its Chamber of Commerce. Now, over 6 months later, I find myself back in the neighbourhood. But where once there was a single sim, now there seems to be a small, but distinct, archipelago of Hamburg sims, covering education, city promotion and a few companies and organisations that seem to be based in the city. One these is Atlantis Media, which I may write about at some future point. Another is TUV Nord, an altogether more difficult outfit to write about. I've been struggling to get to grips with exactly who and what they are.

I will tell you what I have been able to gather. According to wikipedia: "TÜVs (short for Technischer Überwachungs-Verein) are German organizations that work to validate the safety of products of all kinds to protect humans and the environment against hazards. As an independent consultant, they examine monitoring-needy plants, motor vehicles, energy installations, devices and products (e.g consumer goods).. The many subsidiaries of the TÜVs can also appear as project developers for energy and traffic concepts, problem solutions in the area of environmental protection and as certification bodies... No German-registered road vehicle may be operated on public roads without a certificate from the TÜVs."

So TÜVs act as both validators and project consultants - sounds odd to me. As for the TÜV Nord Group, it employs over 8,000 people, making it "one of Germany's largest technical service providers."

Their sim appears to be still under construction, but well on the road to completion. It is split into a number of topic areas, some of which are available in German and English, others in German only. For example, there is a small meeting area styled as a garage, on the walls of which you will find information on the group's key competencies. You can select either English or German. Perhaps the most striking feature of the sim is the giant visualisation of a hydogen fuel cell. You can step through this usingthe language of your choice, and very nicely done it is too. Another zone is structured as a course through the woods, with various challenges along the way. But these are not (yet) available in English, so I have no idea what I'm being challenged to do. Finally, there's a larger meetinng area, but this appears to be under construction still. Here's a few snaps:

I have to confess, I am not 100% sure about the Hamburg link here... but I'm fairly certain the builders are associated with one or other of the Hamburg sims. Despite the rather nicely done visualisation, and the ablity to toggle languages, I came away unenthused. Perhaps I've just seen too many sims now... and need to take a break.

No comments: