The future of 3D interaction: conventions

By now you should have noticed that we are investigating what the possibilities are for 3D computer interaction in the future. To do that, we have been comparing this technology to existing ones.

Human Computer Interaction (HCI) seems to be neglected more often, while the need for it becomes even bigger. Illustrating it is quite easy:

  • “Let’s implement a bunch of smart phone gestures, that no user will ever use”
  • “Let’s implement everything without thorough testing” (let the users test)
  • “Apple’s latest OS: let’s invert the scrolling direction to make it feel like a tablet”
  • “Let’s patent gestures so no other manufacturers can use them”

In all of those examples, there is one common aspect: the lack of conventions. It seems that our human brains can still handle all of those differences, but how long will that last? It seems to feel natural to interface with an Iphone, but try to use an Android phone afterwards and you will notice that it is not working the same way!

We’re at the verge of the 3D era (whether it’s 3D vision or 3D interfacing) and those same problems can rise there too. Google seems to notice the need for some kind of unity (at least within Android apps), and has released app convetions. Although they’re not binding, they do give some guidelines in application development which only make it easier for the user to transfer between apps.

Our request to future developpers: GET CONVENTIONS!


4 Responses to The future of 3D interaction: conventions

  1. Isn’t that a problem with all new things? Just to mention some:
    * The computer was only affordable to companies
    * Same goes for mobile phones
    * Electric cars cost tons of money, but my best guess is that they will be the future (depending on the power source)
    * …

    • Bart Minne says:

      I think that the world will evolve in one that makes use of holographic visualization.
      For example: First there were the conference calls (still popular), these were enhanced by video calls and the future will bring holographic images making it appear that the person you are talking to is right beside you. Not only will this greatly improve the conversation but body language will be much more easily to interpret.

      The thing is that we live in a weird world: creative minds full of fantasy create futuristic movies with unbelievable gadgets. A few years later the gadget becomes real, sometimes quite expensive but real none the less.

  2. As you can see in some of our other posts, that is exactly what we are hoping for. 3D interaction, often lacks a way for returning direct feedback to the user (you only see it happen a couple of meters away from you). If you can have feedback within your hands (while it’s still not touching something), you will be able to better interact with the objects.

    Compare it to a birds feather: you can barely feel it, but you can ‘juggle’ around with it. If the feather would be positioned a couple of meters away from you, and you could still juggle with it, chances are a lot greater that you will lose control over it.

    • Bart Minne says:

      I think I miss your point because I don’t really understand the example of the bird feather.

      What I understand from it is that the interaction is a couple meters away from you and that maintaining control is easier if you are closer to the object you are controlling. Sounds logical. But what is the link with the 3D interaction? If the action happens a few meters from you, which is on a screen (or something similar) since something is being projected, wouldn’t it be easier to just move closer towards the screen instead of standing a few meters away?

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