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Friday, February 24th, 2006, 4:41 pm

3-D Interaction on the Desktop


Screen-shot of Metisse for FVWM

I have just had a rare chance to become part of an exciting experiment. It took place at the The Manchester Visualisation Centre, which is near my office. This involved a new method for interaction with visual data.

A pen is being moved in 3-D space and its route gets traced in real time. Atop that, vibrations are as subtle feedback that indicates contact with items on the screen. It was only a week ago that I discussed the issue of 3-D desktops, i.e. ones with depth, where one can interact with items and be able to feel them. That notion of depth could become a good surrogate for virtual desktops. Another issue is the sensitivity of touch, realisation of depth without special displays and stereo-imagery glasses, and also the motion arms that move up and down, thereby leading to tiredness.

I must admit that got quite excited about the device and asked the lady how much it would cost to purchase one for my workstation. When I was told that the cost is 10,000 pounds per unit, I immediately gave up on the idea. Needless to mention!

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