TechTol brings 3-D images to OwensWritten by Kristen Criswell | | email@example.com
TechTol Imaging LLC, a local business, has paired with Owens Community College to offer its rotational 3-D technology in an educational setting.
Through a collaborative agreement with Owens, TechTol will create a library of images that includes bones, computer components, insects, people, molecule models and other educational subjects.
“The technology’s potential is huge,” said Michael Bankey, vice president for work force and community services at Owens.
The rotational 3-D images would allow hybrid classes, in-person and online classes because of labs, go all online, he said. Previously a student would have it check out a box of bones at the library and sit there studying them. With the imaging, students can study bone structure on their own computer. The imaging could also be used to supplement in class instruction, Bankey said.
TechTol ® Image: Raccoon Skull
Hold down left mouse button and drag across to rotate image and use upper right tool bar to zoom
The college hopes to use the technology in its health science, computer technology, business and public safety curriculums. Bankey sees huge potential for the imaging within Owens’ Center for Emergency Preparedness.
“There is quite a variety you can use with the Center for Emergency Preparedness. We’ve already taken an image of a SWAT gentlemen for how to properly wear a uniform. [Other uses] can show different types of stances or how to hold your a weapon,” he said. “We can take pictures of equipment and we can send information to a student to look over before they even come to a class or follow up after a class.”
Bankey also noted the possibility of using the technology with facial recognition software, which could play a role in terrorist identification.
The collaboration between Owens and TechTol allows the company to expand in the educational market and security market without having to set up at multiple locations or leave Toledo, said Phil Cox, CEO of TechTol.
“There are a variety of uses [for the technology] and that is one of the things that’s plagued us. We’ve been chasing down different avenues over the last couple of years; educational, museum, e-sales, safety. We made the decision to concentrate on educational things and military type applications that Owens would be doing,” he said.
The company will move an imaging unit to Owens in the next two to three weeks, Cox said.
Cox first came up with a similar idea for rotational 3-D busts in 1982, he said. Work on the current imaging units began in 2006 and TechTol was founded in 2008.
In 2008, the company received a $50,000 grant from the Regional Growth Partnership program Rocket Ventures.
TechTol imaging units utilize 16 cameras simultaneously take a photo. The photos then download and process in less than a minute, said Zachary Ward, vice president of visual applications.
The company has spoken with cell phone companies, a car manufacturer, a computer chip manufacturer and the Smithsonian about uses for the rotational 3-D imaging.
“It was just an honor [to speak to the Smithsonian]…To even be able to talk with these guys and have them be interested. Same with the Army guys and a lot of people that have come through. We’re just lucky,” Ward said.
Chris Adams, TechTol programmer, also developed a Facebook application for the 3-D images to be displayed on someone’s page. The programming didn’t originally work on the site, but Facebook rewrote its coding so the application would function, Ward said.
The applications of the imaging technology are endless, Cox said.
“It could be absolutely huge. A multi-billion dollar industry…I see with the advent of 3-D movies and television and with the move to online learning, the sky’s the limit. Who knows where it’s going to go. It’s going to go, the question is whether Toledo is going to be a part of it or not,” he said.
For more information and to check out some 3-D rotational images, visit www.techtol.com.