Release Date: 
Monday, June 8, 2020

HawkStrong: HFC alumnus working on new 3D visualization technology

HFC alumnus Ben Mazza is the senior product manager at SaganWorks in Ann Arbor.
HFC alumnus Ben Mazza is the senior product manager at SaganWorks in Ann Arbor.

HFC alumnus Ben Mazza is leading a team of software developers at Saganworks, an Ann Arbor-based technology company, to change the way people store and share knowledge in a 3D world.

“Saganworks is an online and mobile service that provides users with easily accessed, customized 3D rooms that help you organize and recall your knowledge intuitively. Essentially, it’s a cloud storage service that offers a unique 3D world-building interface layer that users can leverage to construct rooms of knowledge (derived from the files they upload, URLs they save, and photos they take) for a variety of uses. From family photo exhibits to research and hobby rooms – the applications are limited only by the imagination of the user,” said Mazza, of Plymouth.

Senior product manager

Mazza is the senior product manager at Saganworks, which was recently featured in the Dearborn Press & Guide. His job is to connect with the company’s existing and target customers and learn what keeps them engaged, happy, and ultimately satisfied with the products and services Saganworks provides.

“Then, I write up design specifications, business requirements, and user stories to direct the development team on what features and improvements are needed for our product,” he said.

An alumnus of Dearborn High School, Mazza attended HFC, where he studied general education, art foundations, and media production. Mazza transferred to the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, earning his bachelor’s of fine arts in media arts and animation. He also has a certification from Stanford University’s computer science online program, focusing on human/machine interactions (HMI).

“Spatially Accessible Gallery of Archived kNowledge”

For several months, Mazza and his colleagues have been focused on developing this new technology called a SAGAN, which launched on May 1. It is currently available as a free sample and paid full access plans to anyone.

A SAGAN (which stands for “Spatially Accessible Gallery of Archived kNowledge” and pays tribute to the late Dr. Carl Sagan, a renowned astronomer, astrophysicist, and author) is a virtual room that customers build to keep their knowledge and information in a wide variety of file formats, including audio and video. For individuals, it may be as simple as creating a gallery of family photos, helping with personal organization, building a portfolio, keeping track of favorite recipes, or organizing class notes.

“I have many inspirations and passions that fueled my journey into software design,” said Mazza. “Those include a need to create, innovate, and invent new technologies that unlock other people’s imagination, creativity and curiosity. I want to make software products and solutions that help people embrace their unique inner genius.”