By Evan Ackerman
The basic way in which we interface with our computers on a day to day basis is past due for a major upgrade. I mean, think about it… Computer interfaces began with binary punch cards, moved on to text, and then the GUI showed up and there was much rejoicing… But no significant progress beyond that. Isn’t Windows Vista just a gussied-up version of Windows 3.1 with some virtual desktops mixed in? The future is obviously in 3D, and that’s where the Tactile 3D interface is trying to take us. More info and a video demonstration after the jump
Tactile 3D runs on your 2D monitor, and serves as a 3D proxy between you and your traditional file system. It enables you to explore and alter the files on your computer as objects in an unrestrained 3D world. The basic premise is that humans are much better at dealing with spatial and sensory information than we are at remembering file paths, so Tactile 3D creates a virtual environment in which your files exist as little 3D objects can you can interact with and move around. It’s pretty difficult to explain, so just watch the video… It’s 9:38 long, so if you start to get bored, skip ahead to 5:10 for some structural sort eyecandy.
I’ll admit that for better or worse, I’ve spent so much time using a 2D file interface that transitioning into a 3D format seems daunting. On the other hand, I play a lot of 3D games, and I was absolutely blown away by Google Earth, so maybe the transition wouldn’t be that much of a shock. Any way you look at it, the more dimensions you have available, the more information you’ll be able to make available at any given point, and being able to access large amounts of information efficiently is one of the factors that limits the speed at which humans and computers are able to interact.
You can download a free 30 day trial of Tactile 3D here; the full version costs $29.95.