Cliff Peskin
August 27 2010

If you haven’t heard, we’re in the midst of a 3D renaissance.

Media of all shapes and sizes are going 3D; movies, television, video-games and more. The two highest grossing movies of 2010, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3, are both 3D. Last year’s 3D blockbuster, Avatar, is the highest grossing film ever.

On the TV front, electronics manufactures are pumping out 3D TVs like they’re Crispy Cream Doughnuts. The 3D television business is projected to be worth more than $17 billion by 2014. The networks are all over the trend; Discovery and ESPN are soon launching 3D channels and the UK’s Sky launched Sky Sports 3D earlier this year.

And, the videogame industry is holding its own with Sony’s announcement of full 3D videogames on route to its PlayStation network and Nintendo’s upcoming release of a portable 3D gaming device.

Now, real estate is joining the 3D revolution. As buildings are intrinsically three dimensional it only makes sense for real estate to be in attendance at the 3D renaissance.

Google is obsessed with 3D real estate. In a 2009 blog post they wrote, “Some of us here at Google spend almost all of our time thinking about one thing: How do we create a three-dimensional model of every built structure on Earth?”

To achieve this goal, Google launched Google Building Maker, a tool for creating buildings for Google Earth.

If you’d like to bypass Building Maker, New Zealand Estate3D will build virtual models of your house or building for placing on Google Earth and Google Maps for just $99.

It seems we are now headed for a collision between true Avatar style 3D technology and the 2D/3D real estate models such as those employed by Google Earth. When our computer monitors and televisions are 3D enabled we can be sure that checking out true 3D models of the real estate we’re interested in will be standard.

We are fast approaching the day when not only will Google have fulfilled its goal of “creating a three-dimensional model of every built structure on Earth” but these models will be visible on 3D displays – and without the glasses.

As a final thought, its interesting to note that a Japanese research team is said to have just developed the world’s first ‘touchable’ 3D display.

“It is the first time that you can feel images in the air,” said Norio Nakamura, senior scientist with the research team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

So, not only will we be checking out 3D models of buildings on 3D displays but we may be touching them too.

Did someone say Holodeck?

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