3D @ ISTE 2016

Some pundits feel that 3D in education has peaked. But it didn’t seem that way at all at ISTE 2016, where 3D technologies evidenced their strongest and most mature presence in the history of that event.

The ISTE 2016 educational conference held just this summer, with over 16,000 in attendance hailing from 76 countries, is the largest ed-tech conference held in the U.S. 3D was well represented in both the exhibit hall and a number of conference sessions. Here are some of the players we saw in action:

In the Exhibit Hall
AVRover. 3D stalwart AVRover, offering their mobile 3D classroom platform, maintained heavy crowds and high interest every time I passed by. They are now partnering with DTI (see below entry) in offering an auto-stereoscopic lab platform that can provide a 3D visualization ‘breakout’ experience, taking AVRover content into the computer lab or classroom centers. Doug Smith, CEO of AVRover explained: “AVRover and DTI are working together on a technology where educators will teach one-on-many using a mobile AVRover with a screen. In this scenario, the teacher manipulates stereo 3D objects for the students; but then the students can go to multiple workstations in the classroom or in a lab and can work on that same content, with autostereoscopic, glasses free monitors.”

The AVRover booth pulled the customers in…

Dimension Technologies. Co-located in the AVRover booth, Dimension Technologies, Inc featured their auto-stereoscopic display platform. Having worked with NASA for over twenty-five years, DTI just received a new SBIR Phase II E grant from both NASA and Boeing to build a glasses-free 3D display for aerospace. Tom Curtin, Director of Business Development, pointed out: “Education is a natural fit for this technology.” And the cost? The cost to the customers is expected to be a 60% premium over traditional displays.

IMG 3581DTI’s glasses-free display

Eureka. They offered a strong presence showing mesmerizing mono and stereo 3D content to passersby. What’s new? It seems like DesignMate is rebranding itself in the U.S. as the more internationally known – not DesignMate – same great content…

Sensavis. A 3D visualization content company, Sensavis, offered a vibrant booth featuring some of their newest 3D simulations. It seems like they are showing a major new simulation at each successive show, a remarkable pace for new content development.

SensavisSensavis showing their wares…

Sterling Pixels. Sterling Pixels, a veteran 3D content company, broke away from the hidden corners of past booth locations to find themselves in a prime spot with much better visibility for this impressive company.

SterlingSterling Pixels director, Guarav Ghai

Unity3D. Unity3D came to the exhibit floor with a fresh, vigorous vision to reach the education market. See my previous Display Daily article, Unity Aims to Invest in Education for the run down.

Visible Body. Although traditional 3D anatomy provider Cyber-Anatomy was noticeably absent from ISTE 2016, Visible Body stepped into the gap, offering rich visual anatomy lessons for STEM educators.

zSpace. Again winning Best of Show at ISTE 2016 from Technology & Learning magazine, zSpace continued in stride impressing large numbers of booth visitors and offering a solution like no one else. For a deeper dive on zSpace (with a twist), take a look at my most recent article in District Administration magazine entitled “Broadening the Impact of Technology: Are single-lane technologies worth the investment?

zSpacezSpace drew them in…again

In the Conference Sessions
Five concurrent sessions featured 3D at ISTE 2016 (all showcasing 3D design technologies), yet the strongest 3D presence and audience could be found in the panel presentation sponsored by the ISTE 3D Network.

ISTE 3D Network Panel

This panel featured comments by Pavel Solin (University of Nevada-Reno), Tom Adams (Costa Rica), Len Scrogan (University of Colorado-Denver), Kristin Donley (Monarch High School, CO), and Mattias Bostrom (Sensavis), followed by discussions and breakouts. Professor Solin spoke about the importance of student-created design for promoting 3D; Mr. Adams spoke about 3D printing and its role in school ‘makerspaces’; and this author spoke about the morphing of 3D technology into the current VR meme. Most notably, Kristin Donley summarized some of her recent research on using passive 3D displays with high school students, while Mr. Bostrom spoke of the potential of stereo 3D visualization in world-wide classrooms, providing a number of insightful teacher anecdotes. –Len Scrogan