Already a mainstay of video games, 3-D environments are now coming to online shopping.

Earlier this week, Salt Lake-based 3DVO debuted new technology that allows retailers to display their products in three-dimensional displays or 360 degree viewers. The technology is currently being used by companies such as Ogio and Black Diamond.

The technology allows the models to be developed quicker and cheaper than previous methods, chief executive officer Troy Sheen said.

While 3-D imaging has been available to retailers for a few years, "heretofore it took hours of manpower to develop these types of models and was not really utilized," Sheen said. With their technology, the short time will make it more cost-effective for retailers to use, which will make it more attractive.

"There's a demand for this in the market," Sheen said. "We've generated this as a result of what the retailers want."

The primary impetus for 3-D modeling of their products is that it will give consumers a chance to almost "feel" a product. That, in turn, will help sell more product.

"When you can spin and turn a product, it's more engaging," Sheen said. "It really helps drive sales when (consumers) can (virtually) handle the product."

To capture the 3-D image, a product is placed on a turntable and slowly filmed. The resulting images and videos are then loaded into a program developed by 3DVO, which processes the image.

3DVO has built upon technology first developed at Utah State through the Utah State Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative," Sheen said.

The best example of 3DVO's technology in action can be found at the Web site for Bluffdale-based golf bag manufacturer Ogio, whose Grom-style bags are displayed in the 3DVO viewer. Shoppers can spin the bag, zoom in and pan back and forth to get a real feel for what the bag offers.

Mike Beedle, director of marketing for Ogio, said that they were wanting to add more to their Web site shopping experience when 3DVO approached them. While they were attracted to the 360 viewing, what really sold them was some of 3DVO's ideas for the future, such as landscape modeling.

"(3DVO has) the ability to do something really unique with the 3-D images," Beedle said. "It's the start of a building process."

E-mail: [email protected]