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Qualitative Analysis of the Affordances of Three-Dimensional Imaging Systems With a View to Conceptual Shape Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Imre Horváth, Eliab Z. Opiyo

Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Paper No. DETC2007-34395, pp. 163-176; 14 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 27th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 4–7, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4803-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3806-4
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


This paper investigates the affordances of the stereoscopic, pseudo-volumetric and fully volumetric imaging technologies and evaluates them with regard to the requirements of spatial conceptualization of shapes. The motivation for this study comes from the hypothesis that through an integral application of various natural modalities and air-borne volumetric imaging as input and output means, respectively, an intuitive and stimulating working environment can be created for stylists and shape designers. In the investigation a set of basic imaging, interaction, computational, and ecological requirements were taken into consideration. The data on the technologies were aggregated from technological specifications, company documents and web materials, and by experimental work. The major findings are as follows: There is a serious mismatch between the functionality provided by current stereoscopic technologies and the functional expectations of interactive shape conceptualization. Pseudo-volumetric displays also fail to fulfill many functional requirements that are important for shape conceptualization. On the other hand, the fully volumetric imaging devices, in particular those based on the fast evolving interactive airborne technologies, are much more prospective. Although some of them are still in a somewhat premature stage and suffer from certain functional and performance limitations, they may be used to develop novel truly three-dimensional shape design systems and methodologies for the benefit of the users. We found holography-based technologies especially appropriate for this purpose. Nevertheless, research should further improve the functional capabilities and find solutions for a large number of operational and application issues.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Design , Shapes , Imaging



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