3Dwm: A Platform for Research and Development of Three-Dimensional User Interfaces
Although hugely successful, the near-ubiquitous WIMP paradigm dates back to the 1970s and has many shortcomings that could be addressed by harnessing modern computing technology in the user interface. Most importantly, the ready supply of consumer-level hardware-accelerated 3D graphics has opened the way for 3D user interfaces, i.e. interfaces that make direct use of the third dimension. However, there are many challenges to designing applications with such interfaces. In this paper, we present 3Dwm, an object-oriented software platform for the research and development of 3D user interfaces, and discuss how it addresses these challenges. 3Dwm provides a unified 3D abstraction layer that facilitates interoperability between 3D components, combats the inherent complexity of 3D interface programming, provides a reusable toolkit for application building, supports network-aware 3D visualization applications, and may potentially serve as a standardized software platform for many kinds of 3D graphics development.
3D user interfaces