SBIR Phase I: Interactive 3-D Technical Illustrations for Science and Engineering

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1142829
Agency Tracking Number: 1142829
Amount: $149,553.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Arqball LLC
227 Monte Vista Avenue, Charlottesville, VA, 22903-4118
DUNS: 034461722
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Holroyd
 (757) 944-1132
 michael@arqball.com
Business Contact
 Michael Holroyd
Phone: (757) 944-1132
Email: michael@arqball.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop and commercialize tools for creating and displaying interactive 3-D technical illustrations for STEM-related topics. This project takes a new approach to the problem by applying Image-Based Modeling and Rendering (IBMR) techniques which enable the creation of highly realistic digital 3-D scenes by processing and resampling images captured with a camera. In particular, the technology developed through this effort will enable a wide range of interactive 3-D visualizations that are currently poorly served by available video compression algorithms and 2-D vector-based animation tools. The first goal of the proposal is to develop methods and algorithms for capturing, compressing, and displaying these types of datasets. The second goal is to develop a prototype digital textbook chapter that will supplement a physics class on Optics. This chapter will include interactive modules explaining the basic theory of refraction, reflection, dispersion and diffraction, followed by applied lessons on how light is manipulated and measured by a modern camera and how the geometric and material properties of gemstones give rise to their rich appearance. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to develop technology that will transform the ~$8.7B market for education textbooks by replacing paper textbooks with digital versions. This transition is currently stalled because the majority of digital textbook providers are simply scanning the pages of existing textbooks. Although these "books beneath glass" are more portable and less expensive than their physical counterparts, they neglect the promising opportunity for truly interactive material. We believe this is largely due to the current lack of tools for creating and rendering the type of 3-D content that mobile devices have only recently become capable of processing. The technology developed through this project will generate business opportunities in direct content creation, consulting services, and licensing fees. The core technology will also have applications in the areas of cultural heritage, consumer marketing, and advertising.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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