Progress and User Experience Overview

Recent Progress

For the past week I’ve been working on restructuring the widget layout process in preparation for work on improving the performance which is the first of the three remaining major tasks mentioned in the introductory post. But rather than delving into the details of that restructuring, since widgets (such as buttons, sliders, and text fields) are part of the user interface, I think it would be more informative to give an overview of what makes the Kros user experience different.

The Kros User Experience

The primary objective of Kros is to enable the full potential of a portable device with a 3-dimensional mixed reality user interface. The advantages that such a system could provide are plentiful.

A 3D interface with a portable device provides an order of magnitude more space for computing activities. With a smart phone, tablet, or a traditional monitor (even a very large one), the amount of your field of view that you can actually take advantage of is relatively small. With Kros, you could have 360 degrees of screen space, and not just horizontally, but vertically too. So there’s no more need to shuffle windows around or change focus. You just interact.

A mixed reality user interface in 3 dimensions allows for more natural approaches to user input which are, well, naturally easier to use and also more enjoyable. To perform most tasks in Kros, the user’s hands directly push buttons, grab windows, and so forth without the need for an intermediate device such as a mouse. As much as possible, Kros’s virtual objects behave like the corresponding real objects, providing visual and spatial feedback for user actions. Thus, when you as the user press a Kros button, you see the button moving as your finger depresses it – just like a real button. And in most activities, whether work or play, you would use your hands in a natural way to carry out actions. For example, when playing a sword fighting game, you could hold your virtual sword with your real hand as you fight your virtual opponent.

In addition, a mixed reality user interface in 3 dimensions can provide immersive experiences. For instance, with a 3D painting/sculpting program running on Kros, you could use your hands to choose colors, then apply them in 3 dimensions as you move freely around a virtual object you’re creating. You could do this in augmented reality within your own living room or office or in full virtual reality where you might paint while standing on the rim of a virtual Grand Canyon or sculpt from beside the Trevi Fountain in a virtual Rome. The possibilities for experiencing new places or activities are almost limitless.

With these advantages – more usable space, more natural approaches to user input, and a more immersive experience – together with portability, Kros can unlock exciting new possibilities for computing.

So stay tuned, and if you haven’t already, subscribe to the blog or the Twitter feed @KrosDev.

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