The New 3D Wave Of Computing - InformationWeek

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7/9/2010
11:03 AM
Jim Rapoza
Jim Rapoza
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The New 3D Wave Of Computing

There's a new wave coming in computing, one that will change the way you look at the Web and at applications. What is it? Let's just say, Coming Soon! This Blog! In 3D!!

There's a new wave coming in computing, one that will change the way you look at the Web and at applications. What is it? Let's just say, Coming Soon! This Blog! In 3D!!Ok, actually there's little chance that I, or most any other blogger, will ever be working in 3D. But right now, many large tech companies, from hardware vendors like Acer to software companies like Adobe, are putting a lot of effort into bringing 3D capabilities to computing.

Of course, you might be thinking, wait a second, don't we already have 3D capabilities? Yes we do, but that's a different (and probably more practical) form of 3D.

This old school 3D lets designers and developers create models of anything from buildings to cars to complex pieces of machinery, that can then be used to help partners, engineers or customers walk through those devices from any angle or point of view. This has proven to be a very useful form of 3D.

But the current wave of 3D is different and has a whole lot more to do with movies like Avatar.

What these companies want to do is bring that form of "immersive" 3D to computer users, making it seem as if images and content on the computer is coming right out of the screen. And put me down as someone who is a little skeptical about the potential usefulness of this form of 3D.

Sure, in some areas it will make sense. I can see many types of game environments where 3D will work very well (and some where it will most likely ruin the experience).

But for most non-gaming or entertainment purposes I'm having a tough time coming up with a reason for this form of 3D computing.

Of course, there is a reason why many companies are pushing 3D. If it catches on, it might spur people to run out and buy new more capable hardware.

And even in entertainment I'm not one hundred percent sold. For every Avatar, where 3D worked very well, there have been a whole lot of Clash of the Titans where it actually hurt the movie.

So we'll see. Maybe 3D will be a huge success in personal computing. But right now, I'm thinking if I see something jumping out of my screen, I'll probably be inclined to walk away.

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