3D in Education – I enjoy reporting on new products that have their eye on reaching the education market. One such product is the new Whoosh 3D. Whoosh3D is a three-pronged solution: a 3D app; a 3D-enabled screen protector/anti-glare overlay for smartphones, tablets, and iPads; and a screen installer.
(The screen protector can serve as a permanent attachment to a mobile device). While retaining all of the device’s 2D functionality, at the touch of a button, it ushers the device and the student into a 3D-enabled world, without the need for glasses. Here is a brief overview of this product’s functionality:
As you can gather from the above video, Whoosh3D wisely offers important adjustable and personalized viewing features, providing viewers more intuitive control over the stereoscopic depth effect from their device to suit personal preferences. Simon Gemayel, the founder of 3D Vision Technologies, Ltd, explains: “We took great pains to research and incorporate these features because most people have different stereoscopic comfort zones, and therefore perceive the 3D effect in different ways”.
Whoosh3D has slowly been earning steady yet quiet props in building up towards a planned January US roll-out, followed by a late Q1 roll-out in Europe:
- In early March, Whoosh3D was featured in a NewsWatch television show
- In mid-March, the company was nominated as the Most Innovative Technology Company in Asia by PhilDev at the Shangrila EDSA in Manila
- In late March, it was a lead story, named an “Innovation Product” and received the Mac Observer Editors’ Choice Award at MacWorld
- In November, the company was selected at the IAAPA 2014 trade show as winners of the Brass Ring Award for Best New Product in the category of Technology Applied to Amusements. (They exhibited in a unique 3D photo booth, capturing, printing and sharing customer photos in 3D with social networks, including their own app.)
Simon Gemayel explains the journey in this way: “We have been involved in 3D software technology since 2000, offering a proprietary 3D software and lenticular technology that was initially launched as a desktop application for converting any image into 3D instantly using conventional single lens camera with standard PC. hardware”. (This was under a separate brand name, 3DMe.) He continues: “Our software allows on the spot 3D photo printing, glasses-free, using off the shelf printers”. But given the growing digital and social networking lifestyle and recent trends in 3D consumerism, this was not enough for Gemayel’s innovative group. “We envision that mobility and 3D technology will ultimately converge. People from all ages, from different cultures across the globe now all share a common denominator, that of photo and video sharing, and personalizing content”. Of course, the recent explosion of social networking apps for smart phones and tablets supports his notions.
An App for That
Building on its proprietary technology, 3DMe has now created a 3D mobile app, “Whoosh3D”. This 3D app can convert photos, videos and movies; it can also be used to share, personalize and print in 3D, in real-time, using conventional smartphones and tablets. And, of course, it does this with glasses-free 3D. According to Gemayel, the Whoosh3D app is initially being launched as a 3D player and 2D-3D video converter. He adds: “We are currently developing other features, such as augmented reality, 2D-3D photo conversion, social networking/chat, filters and apps to read medical and engineering files in various 3D formats”. Although initially launched as an entertainment app, the Whoosh 3D is being aimed at a full ecosystem of market segments: education, video gaming, manufacturing, printing, medicine and more (see chart below).
I have been following this group for many months, cautiously listening, watching and learning about its offering, trying to make the pieces fit into my sense of what its potential could become in the educational marketplace. Now, with an actual product in my hands, I have been giving Whoosh3D a complete work over, from an educator’s perspective. In my next installment, I am going to weigh in on the effectiveness of this tool – (does it perform as stated?) – and explore its potential for the education marketplace. – Len Scrogan