What is 3D Video?

3D video is not an entirely new technology, having been around in the film industry for many decades. However, the technologies that deliver this immersive form of video viewing are improving. New cameras, better viewing glasses, projection systems, software and displays are starting to bring 3D video into its own at the consumer level, enabling new forms of creative expression and imaging. 3D video requires the capture of two images simultaneously, the same way our eyes do. Once captured, this dual imagery must be displayed or projected in a way our eyes and brain can resolve enough to be believable with the assistance of specialized eyewear. To date, the projection has proved tricky, but these limitations are starting to fall away. Applications like telepresence, which is similar to 3D video but implies a two-way communication stream, can facilitate interactions with people or environments in remote locations, saving time, money and travel while still allowing for an immersive experience.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • In terms of technology teaching there are clear applications for 3D visualisation, and of course there's also a meta-level of engagement in that computing students will want to understand how the technology works itself. Visualising complex information systems, modelling computer hardware and systems design can all benefit from true 3D as opposed to rendered images. - bill.thompson bill.thompson May 15, 2011
  • Those art and technology programmes that are producing graduates for the film, media and games industry will definitely be exploring the possibilities of 3D production. The technology looks set to be become a consumer technology fairly rapidly as the Nintendo DS demonstrates.- patrick.oreilly patrick.oreilly May 17, 2011

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, research or information management within the next five years?

  • There's enormous potential but just as cinema directors have discovered the skills needed to make best use of 3D tools take time to develop - Wenders and Herzog have both made stimulating 3D documentaries but little 3D storytelling seems to take full advantage of what stereoscopic viewing has to offer. The key will be to help the providers of educational technologies and teachers who want to use the tools to explore the capabilities instead of assuming that we know what will be most effective in advance - bill.thompson bill.thompson May 15, 2011
  • another response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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