A man will die, but not his ideas.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The future is 3D, and it is now!

I guess we all dreamed of it. After watching many science fiction movies and reading Sci-Fi stories, we all wondered when we will be able to interact with devices, especially computers, via a 3D interface. Well, the dream is not very far away. In fact, it is starting to become a reality right now. 3D desktop environments are starting to appear on most of the platforms that we know. And let me tell you, it really looks promising. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are some examples.

On top of the list comes Project Looking Glass from Sun Microsystems, an open platform to explore innovative 3D user interface. And since it is based on the Java technology which has a great reputation when it comes to image processing and rendering capabilities, it truely is a wonderful experience. A video of a demonstration of the project can be found on Google Video over here. An many screenshots exist on the project's home page.

Next comes Linux and an OpenGL program that switches virtual desktops in a seamless 3-dimensional manner. The program is called, naturally, 3D-Desktop. And even though it doesn't give you a true 3D environment, it looks cool and is really nice if you want to impress the ones you know.

And then of course there is XGL, the X server architecture layered on top of OpenGL. Which, when combined with Compiz, will change the way you think about your Linux desktop. A video demo of XGL can be found here.

Finally, we turn our attention to Windows. Now, Windows Vista and its Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) API promises to enable a new look and feel of the operating system that many of us are familiar with. However, if you can't wait, why not try SphereXP, a 3D desktop replacement for Microsoft Windows taking the known concept of three-dimensional desktops to its own level. There even exists SphereXPlorer, a three-dimensional Web browser.

Whatever way you look at it, the future seems to be 3D. And even though you should not expect a replacement of the 2D screen you are used to with holographic images or 3D VR glasses in the very near future, who knows what the not so near future will bring.

Posted by A :: 1:25 AM :: 2 Comments:

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