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Customizable 3D virtual objects : a breakthrough in electronic catalogs in Internet business

Authors Ng, Yuk Ming
Issue Date 2000
Summary To stay competitive and to create more business opportunities in the current metamorphosing market, manufacturers have started to employ mass customization and electronic commerce to enhance their business capabilities and strategies. One of the most interesting commercial opportunities for Internet business is to put catalogs on the Web. An electronic catalog can be defined as an electronic front end that permits media to present a product and information in detail, and is connected to a back-end storage and retrieval system, with the superiority of online, interactive functional support. Although the electronic catalog stands at a substantial position on procurement, connecting buyers to manufacturers and distributors, empirical investigations on the design issues of electronic catalog are still small in number. The existing electronic catalogs are able to provide comprehensive information, efficient data update, and economical construction; however, the huge data volume due to high variety and fast turnover of customized products causes these catalogs to be unrealistic at times. This paper presents a Web-based approach to a 3D virtual object catalog for the customized products. The discussion focuses on system requirements, design and architecture of a 3D virtual catalog. By using the current Web technologies and VRML model, we developed a prototype system of a virtual pet. Moreover, evaluation on system performance was carried out. The assessment was based on the remarkable properties of a 3D virtual object catalog, which are the online, dynamic and a 3D display. The results showed that under most conditions, the proposed catalog has a better performance in development time, required cost and storage space compared with the paper-based and image-based ones. The performance indices of the catalog range from 37 percent to 99 percent. The 3D virtual object catalog was further evaluated based on human design issues. We found that the catalog provided a better sense of presence, a more attractive and enjoyable way of expressing useful information in an easily memorable display mode. In this way, customers could obtain a high level of satisfaction and hence their propensity to purchase through the 3D medium would be greatly enhanced.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2000
Language English
Format Thesis
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