Historically, 3D on the Web has always been associated with difficulties. Although 3D has been around for decades, from research labs to gaming to visualization of a 3D earth, there are numerous reasons why 3D is still having majority adoption challenges. On the other hand, digital photography (and video) have blossomed well into the world-wide consumer market, from both hardware (e.g., cell phones with cameras) and software perspectives (e.g., Flickr, YouTube).
In this talk we delve deeper into the benefits of a “2.5D” representation of our world, leveraging both 2D photography and 3D graphics and vision techniques. We open up a discussion for why such difficulties in 3D realm exist, what/how we can benefit from digital point-and-shoot photography, and further discuss the benefits of creating a “2.5D” representation—more specifically from the mirror world and web perspective (e.g., Amazon A9, Google Street View, EveryScape).
We will discuss the pros/cons of 3D using specific examples (e.g. Google Earth, MS Virtual Earth, Sketchup, Maya, etc.), 2D (e.g. digital photography, photoshop, jpeg, flickr, etc.), and 2.5D (e.g. EveryScape, Google Street View, MS Photosynth). Below is a table where we compare the each of the 3D, 2.5D, and 2D with some parameters, in which we argue all must be in the “easy” category for mass adoption success. Mass adoption of 3D may be years (or even decades) away, and various 2.5D solutions are filling in some of the needs now. We further discuss EveryScape’s specific journey in research and development — how and why we ended up where we are today.
Mok is the Chief Innovation Officer at Where Inc. He is also the Founder and Board Member of EveryScape Inc.