Technology Transfer SSC Pacific
Object Selection in 3D Environments

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A method for object selection of 3D objects in a computer-generated 3D environment

The U.S. Navy seeks to commercialize U.S. Patent 7,348,997 (Object selection in a computer-generated 3D environment).


Current object selection techniques in 3D computer-generated environments require the end-user to place a cursor directly on an object in order to select it and only provide feedback after the user selects an object. Tightly clustered, overlapping, or hidden objects are difficult if not impossible to select or gather information on.

The Technology

SSC Pacific has developed both a method and system that allows for the selection and pre-selection of objects in a 3D computer-generated environment.  Users have the ability to view 3D objects situated on the screen, as well as change the view of the screen to select objects otherwise hidden. The technology assists the user in selecting many items, such as pre-selecting the closest object, and identifying the next closest object subsequent to the first. Additionally, the technology facilitates the selection of multiple objects based on user-defined settings. This all combines to create a computationally quick and efficient object selection technique without worrying about the exact placement of the cursor.  Additionally, it allows for the previously unavailable simple selection of relatively small or tightly clustered objects in a 3D computer generated scene.

Key Benefits

  • Ability to select or pre-select difficult objects due to size, relative distance to object, and number of objects in the vicinity
  • Increases user object selection speed and accuracy while decreasing required pointer device movement
  • Provides auto-selection and pre-selection without exact placement of cursor 
  • Increases efficiency due to quick computational ability
  • Allows easier identification of selected and pre-selected objects using high-lighting or object marking techniques
  • Allows users to obtain object information prior to selection, thus allowing the perusal of object space before committing to a specific selection
  • Development Status

  • U.S. Patent issued: 7,348,997
  • DoD 5000 Series Technical Readiness Level 5: Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • For more information on technology transfer, please contact us at (619) 5535118 or email
    SD 778, March 2008. SSC Pacific, San Diego, CA 921525001. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

    SSC Pacific
    Updated: 10/25/2011 11:02 AM EST   Published