July 22, 2013

3D Symbiosis

I believe stereo 3D technology stands on its own merits within educational settings. I don’t believe, however, that its growth trajectory will accelerate to the degree desired without help from other, complementary technologies.  Only by joining together with other enabling technologies will 3D be hoisted into commercial and educational prominence.

Really, I’m talking about about the familiar saga of symbiosis. The German mycologist Heinrich Anton de Bary explained it most simply as "the living together of unlike organisms.”  In order to achieve its potential, stereo 3D will not stand on its own. Rather, 3D will require a type of stereo symbiosis to thrive. Here are my nominations for the most receptive symbiont combinations:

  • 3D + Gesture Recognition. “The eyes and hands have it.” Envision combining stereo 3D with the ability to control objects, navigation, or actions via natural hand gestures.
  • 3D + the Cloud. “The cloud has left the building.” Imagine being able to deliver stereo 3D via the Internet, enabling 3D companies to dispense with the complexity, copy protection, installation, and reinstallation schemes that so agitate customers. Putting 3D in the cloud will simplify the storage, delivery, and frequent refresh of 3D learning objects and simulations. 
  • 3D + volumetrics. “Dispensing with the fourth wall.” Imagine 3D combined with volumetrics, dissolving the barrier of the fourth wall and presenting  a new type of “circle 3D” or near-holography.  
  • 3D + 4K. “Okay—it sounds like a math equation—I get it.” Nonetheless, will the combination of stereo 3D and the stark realism of a 4K frame-rate produce the crowds and clamor many hope for?
  • 3D + Other. “3D done your way.” Perhaps there is another technology that makes sense as a symbiont with stereo 3D. What would you suggest?

Please vote on these nominations for the most receptive symbiont combination for accelerating 3D in the educational marketplace, or add your own (Check back to see how the vote is proceeding):

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