Thursday, September 16, 2010

Horizon 2D-3D transitions

Recently, 3D has made a splash in the media and tech world; we see it in everything from blockbuster 3D movies to TVs and handheld devices with stereoscopic 3D (S3D) screens. What does this mean for the future of user interfaces (UIs)?

At TAT we are thrilled by the design possibilities 3D graphics have to offer (as we explained in this whitepaper). We believe S3D will dramatically increase the demand for 3D UIs. Of course, we don’t expect 3D to replace 2D anytime soon, as most users are familiar and comfortable with 2D UIs. Nevertheless, there are obvious advantages to both. Now, we have invented a way to combine these approaches, based on a solution that we call the Horizon 2D-3D transition.

Take maps, for example. Not so long ago, most maps were in 2D. These maps are typically simplified, making it easy to orient yourself in relation to stylized images of roads and blocks of buildings. Recently, digital map providers such as Google and Microsoft (Bing) have begun to offer maps in a “street view” 3D layout. These 3D maps allow users to actually see the height, shape and surfaces of objects such as buildings, which is useful when looking for a particular landmark.

Clearly, there are advantages to both 2D and 3D maps, and they coexist side by side in many map solutions. The problem however, is that users risk losing their visual points of reference when switching between 2D and 3D views. We think that the Horizon 2D-3D transition is the solution. In our Horizon Map demo, we show how 2D and 3D maps can be combined into a singular application where layout alterations are seamless and dynamic. This is much more comprehensible than the mode switching of current map solutions. The demo is built with TAT Cascades and it uses stunning 3D map meshes from C3 Technologies.

The Horizon 2D-3D transition is not limited to maps, however. For instance, in our Horizon List demo, we show how a standard contact list in 2D transforms into a more complex 3D list, which also shows status updates. While maintaining the simplicity of 2D when looking for a specific contact, it is easy to switch to the information-dense 3D list to find out if someone has shared any news. With full support for both 2D UIs and 3D UIs, TAT Cascades now makes it possible to move dynamically and seamlessly between both, in any application.


Unknown said...


Absolutely innovative concept! Mindblowing!

When this is the future NOW.

Unknown said...

absolutely good job friend