Three-dimensional (3D) visualization technologies are increasingly applied in visualization of virtual product models. Devices such as 3D glasses, head/helmet mounted displays (HMDs), stereo projectors and in some instances even some of the emerging visualization technologies including, for instance, holographic displays, swept volume displays and other volumetric displays are examples of technologies that can be used in visualization of virtual models of engineering products. These technologies allow viewers (i.e. in this case designers and engineers) to explore various aspects of products such as appearance or shape more aptly. 3D virtual product models are especially useful for activities that require space imagination such as evaluation of concepts, aesthetics review, assembly verification and ergonomics review. The problem, however, is that interactivity of most of the existing 3D visualization technologies is very limited. Therefore, this paper describes an attempt aimed at developing intuitive interaction methods for visualization of 3D product models in truly 3D visualization environment and at investigating how basic tasks such as selecting, rotating or moving 3D virtual object in 3D scene can be accomplished. A holographic display is used as a case study truly 3D visualization technology. Different interaction methods have been developed and user tests carried out to qualitatively evaluate the usability and suitability of these methods. Motion tracking is seen as a practical way for manipulating 3D product models in 3D workspace while spatial touch screen with tangible object and virtual menu is seen as a practical method for manipulating menu items. The paper also illustrates how these two interface methods can be used for performing certain basic interactive product visualization operations in 3D workspace.

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