Interactive 3D-Book-Explorer

Creation, presentation and interactive usage of realistic 3D digital copies

The generation, handling and presentation of spatial objects is an integral part of the work of many different fields, and one that is increasingly coming to the fore. Yet the range of solutions we now possess for such 3D functions are either too complex or unsuitable for use in certain areas or simply too expensive. And achieving the right combination of spatial presentation and reliable spatial interaction is a particularly daunting challenge. Even so, it is precisely this kind of linkage that can offer users an exceptionally immersive experience.

The Interactive 3D-Book-Explorer developed by Fraunhofer HHI makes it possible to generate digital 3D-Books and present them so that readers can interact with them naturally. Virtual access is given to these magnificent lavishly adorned volumes and priceless manuscripts as well as to mail order catalogues, books and newspapers whilst the integrity of the medium is fully preserved. 

Our system consists of a easys to use 3D book generator software, a 3Dpresentation software and our interactive interface for touchless, natural interaction by gestures. This software processes data from a broad array of different camera-based sensors including stereo cameras, and time of flight and structured light cameras. People, and the heads, hands and fingers of users are recognized and tracked in the video data at high speed and with a high level of reliability, while our software interprets the movements captured on camera as ges- tures for input commands which allow users to rotate the books, scale them and browse them by using gestures of their hands.

The interactive 3D Book Explorer can also be applied to other areas than museums, libraries and archives: The software can be used both for product catalogues, and therefore benefit mail-order companies. Another potential application can be found in the book trade: With the aid of the new technology, customers at book shops can page through books that are currently out of stock but can be ordered as needed.



  • Easy to use book-editing software
  • Digital re-construction of 3D books from 2D scans 
  • Realistic, high-definition book models
  • Long-term preservation of entire books


  • Presentation on 2D and 3D displays
  • Enhancement of original content
  • Contact-free interaction by hand-gestures 
  • Natural user experience


Munich Center for Digitalization of the Bavarian State Li- brary et al. Installation of the 3D-Book-Explorer as part of the “Magnificent Manuscripts – Treasures of Book Illumi- nation” exhibition at the Kunsthalle of the Hypo Cultural Foundation in Munich.