Customizable interactions in 3D web applications with meta beans
In order to have more and better 3D content on the Web, there is an urgent demand for making interaction with 3D environments easier, as well as adaptable. The approach presented in this paper for simplifying and customizing interaction, in particular for inexperienced end users and for non-expert authors of 3D Web content, is to encapsulate interaction metaphors in components. As Java3D and the Java Bean component standard is used, these components are called Meta Beans. A Meta Bean is a part of the Java3D scene graph and always associated with one 3D Bean (i. e. a component that represents an entity from the real world) extending its interaction facilities. Thus, interaction with objects of the 3D environment can be customized. In this paper, the concept of Meta Beans and their operations - association, replication, import and export - are introduced. Issues that occur when realizing Meta Beans are discussed by describing an implementation in Java3D. Examples and use cases of Meta Beans are provided. As Meta Beans are components and adhere to certain interface and naming conventions, it is simple to exchange them automatically. Therefore, the adaptation of 3D authoring environments to an individual author or 3D content to a specific user group is achievable. Using profile information, this customization can be performed mechanically. As a result, the author uses familiar interaction metaphors each time she makes use of 3D web applications.