January 25, 2016

By Any Other Name

      'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;       Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.       What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,       Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part       Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!       What's in a name? that which we call a rose       By any other name would smell as sweet;       So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,       Retain that dear perfection which he owes       Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,       And for that name which is no part of thee       Take all myself.
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1600

I want to reveal a perception that has consistently garnered my attention: I am finding that the term 3D is a rapidly shifting target. It means many things to many people these days. 

When someone speaks about ‘3D’, they may be referring to immersive rendered 3D solutions; or they may have in mind the amazing 3D room in the Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal (see previous post); or they may be referencing stereoscopic or autostereoscopic 3D visualization products; they could be excitedly pushing the hottest virtual reality experiences; and they could even be describing augmented or mixed reality offerings. And I haven’t even mentioned 3D printing. In many cases, the actual term ‘3D’ may not be used, as it seems to convey “bad mojo” to some folks.

Here are some examples of this often occurring 3D obfuscation:
  • Within the behind-the-scenes platform for the 2015 Horizon Report (I served as a panel expert), organizers mystifyingly separated 3D technologies into four different categories. First, they saw most 3D as consumer technology and not an educational technology; they also mentioned 3D under data visualization technologies, under a virtual reality, and under a mixed reality. You can see why 3D didn’t make the cut if they don’t quite agree on what it is!
  • Many articles or press releases I read about virtual reality or mixed reality products are using stereo and/or rendered 3D, but these articles often steer clear of the “3D” moniker.
  • Manufacturers, committees, and school technologists are constantly mixing up these technologies in their minds and lexicon.
  • Chris Chinnock of Insight Media writes in a recent article: “This is how 3D is going to come back to life—via a VR headset.”

No comments:

Post a Comment