We are used to working in a two-dimensional environment limited by a screen, but in a virtual reality headset we can see a three-dimensional environment that we can observe from all angles and all directions. To navigate we need a new type of mouse.
Do we really need a 3D environment?
When we use a mouse, what we do is move a cursor on the screen, said cursor moves in two-dimensional Cartesian space. The 3D mouse concept adds an extra dimension to the movement of the cursor, allowing navigation in a fully three-dimensional environment.
Obviously, a conventional mouse cannot be used for this and it requires the use of specialized equipment, apart from a special navigation environment for it. And yes, oddly enough, there have been 3D navigation environments. One of them was FSN from Silicon Graphics, famous for appearing in the movie Jurassic Park.
Although until now we have not had a completely three-dimensional interface to be able to do the work on a PC, since the SGI FSN and other interfaces did not require the use of a 3D mouse to navigate the menus.
We therefore need an environment in which to navigate in three dimensions, which is not confined within the limits of a screen and therefore allows 360 ° mobility. Is there such an environment? Well, yes there is and it is virtual reality, for which we have already seen some adaptations of classic three-dimensional desks. But what if instead of adapting an existing environment, we created one to interact with virtual reality? While the first thing we need is hardware to move around the environment, this is where 3D mice come in.
The components of a 3D mouse
To move in a three-dimensional environment, we need a material element that allows us not only to see said environment, which is nothing more than a virtual reality headset, which, through a series of sensors, moves the environment based on how we turn our heads and in very advanced systems it follows our students as well.
The same technology that is used in a virtual reality headset helps us create 3D mice. This technology has been present in smartphones for years and is found in virtual reality controllers. What do we mean? Well, gyroscopes and accelerometers. The first allow to know the direction angle of the cursor and therefore in which of the 6 axes of three-dimensional space the cursor will move, in some cases a magnetometer or a compass is generally added to be able to know the orientation,
The accelerometer, on the other hand, measures the acceleration from one point to another. Acceleration should be understood as the change in speed over time, and speed itself as the change in distance over time. Therefore, the information from the accelerometer is used indirectly to know how much space has been traveled from one point to another, doing the reverse path, that is, integrating the acceleration to get d ‘first the speed then the displacement.
But we have one element left. It does not make sense that we know the displacement and direction of it if we do not have a reference position, for this it is necessary to create a reference point at all times, which can be tuned by a camera with the ability to view 3D images. What these cameras do is, on the one hand, take a classic color photo and on the other hand, create a three-dimensional map, either by using infrared rays or by measuring the time of light between objects. . This map shows the distance of each item from the camera.
The camera can be located in a fixed position, called exterior-interior tracking. or from the virtual reality headset itself, the important thing is that the camera is needed to give it a point of origin to be able to measure the movement of the 3D mouse. With all this technology, we can now navigate without problems in the three-dimensional environment, using the 3D mouse as a pointer that has the ability to move in the three dimensions of said environment, allowing interaction with all elements of the environment. .
Triangulation is necessary, because without it the 3D mouse cannot n
Beyond the 3D mouse
In the same way that we can implement a 3D mouse, we can also go further and create a glove that allows us to interact with different objects as if they were a hand and move them around. one position to another, but this technology is currently underdeveloped, so there is a need to further develop the 3D mouse.
In a conventional mouse, we have the left click to interact and the right click to open the context menu. In a 3D mouse, it would be necessary to use additional buttons to be able to grab objects. We therefore need an additional button to be able to take the various objects in the environment and be able to interact with them.
But how does all of this apply to productivity?
Everything you read may look like a video game, but this technology is used every day by engineers and artists to make three-dimensional designs so that they can be seen from all possible angles in real time. In medicine, it is used to train new doctors and even so that doctors can handle them during surgery.
Regarding leisure, when browsing an online store, it would be possible to browse through the different products as if we were in a real store, in order to watch films, such an environment allows us to have a home cinema from any angle and manage the screen. not in two dimensions, but in three dimensions. Who knows if in the future we will see 360º films where we will be a simple assistant watching the action.
In terms of daily productivity, this allows us to have multiple screens to work on, with the windows and the size we want, but in space it allows us to have multiple toolbars and even windows. stacked. How about changing the layer by dragging one of them? Better yet, have you ever considered turning a window or seeing what’s behind it? The possibilities are enormous.