3D Virtual Product Display; Marketing Technology Innovation

Stevens 3D’s ongoing mission to bring marketing technology to the next dimension!

3D virtual product display just might be the biggest innovation in eCommerce since 2-Day shipping. Engineering and architectural firms have used 3D virtual display technology for decades and some virtual product display is used in eCommerce marketing today… but the vast majority of products online are still displayed using regular old two dimensional pictures.

Web GL and THREE.JS offer powerful new tools to program interactive digital marketing applications using 3D product models.

Brace yourselves, 3D is coming…

3D Rendered Product Display from Clara.io Free Online 3D Rendering Library: (Click and drag to move)

Protact-Ops Luxury Holster Online Store complete with 3D virtual product display coming soon:

3D Motion Capture With Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor

Motion-capture technology was made famous by the actor Andy Serkis who played the role of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings film series (2001-2003).

The Angry Nerd Proclaims Andy Serkis the Greatest Actor of This Generation:

At the time, motion capture required hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and performers had to wear special suits covered with ping-pong balls. Ten years later the Microsoft Kinect allows us to achieve the same capabilities with a standard PC and the extremely affordable 360 Kinect Sensor.

Stevens 3D demonstrating motion-capture with the 360 Kinect Sensor at the 3D Innovation Lab, Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center Polk State College:kinectmotioncapture
The 360 Kinect sensor is a motion sensing depth camera designed as an input device for the Microsoft Xbox. Released in 2010 the Kinect was met with a resounding “Meh” from the gamer community and never achieved the popularity of the previously existing motion sensor from Nintendo, the Wii.

However, in 2012 Microsoft released a Windows compatible version of the Kinect sensor and an accompanying SDK for developers (this sensor and SDK package can easily be found on eBay for somewhere in the $20 range).

The 360 Kinect Sensor offers sophisticated depth and motion sensing capabilities readily accessible for developers at a very reasonable cost. A lot of really cool software is being developed with the Kinect. Examples can be seen here on KinectHacks.com.

Another example of using the Kinect Sensor for Mo-Cap is here on Engaget.

Today’s advent of virtual reality hardware offers a new dimension of possibilities for motion capture technology. Stevens 3D, in collaboration with Protact-Ops is creating advanced tactical training technology with 360 Kinect motion capture to bring the real live motion of trained and experienced tactical professionals into the virtual world. This augmented/virtual reality training software will eventually allow law enforcement and military personnel to train in realistic scenarios without live ammunition.




Elliptical Parallax User Interface

Click and drag the cubes to experience elliptical parallax effect from threejs.org

Elliptical Parallax UI is significantly different than the parallax effect that is widely used by web designers today.

First, what is parallax?

Google defines the term Parallax:

noun: parallax  – The effect whereby the position or direction of an object appears to differ when viewed from different positions, e.g., through the viewfinder and the lens of a camera.

Front-end web developers and designers are familiar with the use of the parallax scrolling effect; Which is the combination of text and images that scroll at different speeds to create the illusion of three dimensional depth. The illusion is achieved because the human eye perceives objects at different depths moving at different speeds. Many examples of the parallax scrolling effect can be seen here speckyboy.com/2012/07/20/the-parallax-scrolling-effect-40-examples-and-tutorials

Wikipedia describes parallax scrolling:

Parallax scrolling is a technique in computer graphics and web design, where background images move by the camera slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth in a 2D scene

Interestingly, the scientific use of parallax predates the web design technique by several hundred years at least, most notably in the field of Astronomy. Isaac Asimov describes the scientific history of parallax in his book Isaac Asimov’s Guide to Earth and Space:

The distance of Mars was estimated in 1672, with fairly good accuracy, by viewing the planet from from Paris and French Guiana and calculating the parallax. Even the nearest stars, however, are pretty sure to be several hundred thousand times as far away as Mars, at the very least, which means that the parallax of the nearest stars would be several hundred thousand times smaller. Mars’ parallax was hard enough to measure, even when viewed from different hemispheres; a star’s parallax would be impossible to determine.
But there might be a way out of this dilemma. The Earth travels around the sun, and in six months it moves from one end of its orbit to the other, a distance of just about 300 million kilometers (186 million miles), about 23,500 times the width of the Earth. If a star is viewed from the same location first on January 1 and then on July 1, the parallax would be 23,500 times as great as it would be if it was viewed merely from opposite sides of the Earth.

So everybody gets it? Yes? No? Maybe? Many web designers use the parallax effect with great success without worrying about how or why it works. Many users enjoy the aesthetic appeal of browsing a parallax website without knowing much about (or giving a f*ck about) the scientific concept of  parallax.

Using parallax in web design became popular around 2012. It has been used effectively and creatively in thousands of websites and continues to be a striking and innovative design technique. The use of parallax is one of the most substantial developments in web design since the beginnings scrolling in the 1990’s. Why is the parallax illusion so great? Because it transforms the 2D experience of web browsing into 3D… and a 3D experience is better than a 2D experience, pretty much every time. 3 > 2

While parallax on the web is a major step towards a 3D digital experience, it is just a step and not the destination. The popularity of the parallax design technique demonstrates that users are hungry for 3D. With the virtual reality boom of 2016 there is finally immersive 3D technology available but so far only serious gamers and early adapters are using it. The vast majority of digital activity is still happening on 2D screens. Parallax websites have given 2D digital consumers a taste of the 3D experience but what is the next step?

There are significant limitations to the parallax effect that we see today used on the web. The text/images scroll as if they exist in different fields of depth but each field exists in it’s own two dimensional plane. The varying speed of movement of the different planes creates depth but the planes relate to each other in a way that is parallel. Why does this matter? Because while the illusion of 3D is created, the depths of the individual elements cannot change and so they are not, effectively, three dimensional.  The illusion gives the feel of 3D but the content itself remains, sadly, 2D.

At some point in the not-so-distant future the majority of digital interface will be in full and glorious 3D. While we cannot imagine exactly what that will look like (watches that project holograms?) current advancements in web technology allow us to experiment with true 3D user interface technology today using a 2D screen with a web browser!


Web GL is a powerful and open source javascript language that allows web browsers to instantly render interactive 3D motion graphics. THREE.JS is a user friendly javascript library that allows developers to harness the power of Web GL with poetic simplicity.

The elliptical parallax is live in THREE.JS. It can be explored in great detail with the solar system modeling platform JSORRERY. So yes, it works for astronomy but why not user interface? It is coming. Elliptical Parallax Use Interface, Stevens 3D.

Here is an example of the interactive 3D solar system modeling platform JSORRERY:

Click and drag the moons and planets to experience elliptical parallax

3D Modeling with Web GL and THREE.JS

Web GL is an open source javascript platform that gives your web browser the capability to render interactive 3D images. THREE.JS is a user friendly javascript library that creates Web GL scenes with a natural and fluid language.

Here is the model that Stevens 3D is using for our augmented reality tactical training prototype. The model is available at threejs.org

Tab Grab Strap

What is the Tab Grab Strap?
It’s Right in Front of Your Face

The Tab Grab Strap is a tablet accessory that facilitates hands free tablet use. Great for typing, reading, browsing, watching video or gaming. The Tab Grab Strap utilizes the principle of torso controlled virtual reality for a non-immersive virtual reality experience.

IMG_20160802_093913 (1)Strap in to the to the Tab Grab Strap and get productive


IMG_20160802_093108 (1)Kick back and relax, living that Tab Grab life. Rocco models the Tab Grab Vest while blogging at the co-work space. photo Aaron Mouer

Tab Grab Strap Wins Second Place in a Start-Up Contest


Augmented Reality Demonstration
Live Tactical Demo of Tab Grab Strap Augmented Reality Capabilities with Protact Ops

From the Lakeland Ledger April 29th 2016, John Ceballos reports:

Corey Stevens is a Lakeland-based inventor and entrepreneur who created the Tab Grab Strap, a tablet accessory for gaming that provides a non-immersive virtual reality experience.

His presentation included a version of the Tab Grab Strap made out of cardboard. Stevens said the idea for the product had been kicking around his head for a while, and he developed the prototype about two weeks ago.

He was seeking $10,000 worth of start-up capital from Launch, which would allow him to raise additional funds through equity investors and a crowd-funding campaign.

Stevens may have walked away empty handed on Thursday, but he remains undeterred.

“Next time one of these grant events come up, I’m gonna have another invention for you,” he told the committee.

Katrina Lunsford, of Fifth/Third Bank tries on the Tab Grab Strap during the Q and A