3D Gallery

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One of the most important long term goals of Cosma is to provide entertaining, immersive and interactive visual interfaces to the site. There are actually a number of demos of what this might look like that already exist, but none of the technologies are ideal, so there is no full implementation of the vision (yet).

In the meantime, over the course of 2018, a fun experimental interface was introduced through a series of “Gallery” pages and posts which featured “Toy World” demos. The demos were created by building “dioramas” with toys and then capturing spherical images of them with a RICOH THETA S 360°. Then the images were posted on the RoundMe photo sharing service in order to add links to YouTube videos and pages on this site.

Here is the culminating version of “Toy Worlds.” If you can’t see the demo here, you may want to try a different browser (e.g. Chrome) or check it out on Roundme. As you explore the demo, be sure to look around — there are some hidden nooks and crannies!

There were also a series of pages and posts focused on individual images embedded in the above world. Here is list of specific themes along with the pages and posts were you can find out about the individual demos.

Theme space
Gallery Solar System Gallery
Post Get Lost in Space!

Theme nature
Gallery Virtual Zoo
PostCosma’s Virtual Zoo

Theme world, travel
Gallery Armchair World Travel Lounge
Post Armchair Getaways!

Theme “Fun Stuff”
Gallery Fun Stuff Gallery
Post Toy Worlds@Cosma

There was another, earlier “Toy World” demo that was less “polished.” While it was a bit “rough around the edges” relative to the later demos, it did have the advantage of having been shot inside an actual dollhouse! Again, If you can’t see it here, it’s also on RoundMe.

The experiment with Toy Worlds has come to a natural conclusion. However, while there won’t be any more introduced on this site, that doesn’t mean that there is no future for them. Elementary school teachers and anyone wraising an elementary school kid might not just get a kick out of exploring the Toy Worlds on Cosma — perhaps they will also be inspired to create some of their own! Find out more about Toy Worlds

The next phase of development for visual interfaces to this site will require adopting an authoring tool or platform capable of supporting interactive 3D/360° worlds in a standard browser without plugins (i.e. WebVR).

An experiment has actually already been done to implement an interface in Unity 3D, and here’s a video of that demo. The jury remains out about whether or not Unity 3D will be the next platform for Cosma’s visual interface.

Cosma also has a much older 3D visual interface implemented in a virtual world called SecondLife. Here’s a video of the site.

If you happen to have a SecondLife account, you can access the site with this link: Knowledge Park (Maryport)

The above examples are just the latest generation of Dr. Mary Hopper’s experiments with creating 3D interfaces to traditional, interactive and 3D content. The first generation of experiments were in Apple’s HyperCard back in the 1980s.

More about the extensive history of the 3D interfaces to Cosma as well as the results of new experiments will be posted here, so please stay tuned!