Do all these new 3D technologies impress you? 3D Cinema and Television with various face worn methods of separating channels or smaller autostereoscopic screens for normal faced third dimensional visuals? Well not me, I could not care less about any of it. Not until the day Research In Motion put out their first glasses free 3D Blackberry.
No I am not mad.
Shortly before they were acquired by RIM I had come to know the work of a fancy Swedish design outfit called The Astonishing Tribe and damn was I impressed by what they could do with a small screen. A small two dimensional screen.
If you have never seen the concept videos or better yet the actual product demos of TAT then the next thing you need to do is get into your eyeballs and drive them to this link, then watch everything several times. Especially of note are the Horizon videos as those are real-world tech demos that were running on Android.
When you have seen something like this (and gotten over the idea of TAT no longer working on Android) it becomes very hard to be impressed by a bit of faux depth perception on any other device but it does leave new room to be excited about what they will do for Blackberry. I am unimpressed with the current use of 3D tech because it is pretty much based around entertainment mediums where a lot of people are not even interested but if it is put to use for managing information or providing new ways to increase the depth of our smart-phone user interfaces then I am going to be all about it, and I imagine a lot of other geeks will be too.
Blackberry has been floundering around recently like a horse with legs that have suddenly and inexplicably become rubber, by which I mean they have had to become involved in the consumer market thanks to other systems making inroads into their incredibly comfortable business market. The promotional videos put out for BBOS 6 would of been laughable if they were not so outrageously offencive to any regular human who uses an iPhone or similar consumer friendly device. It was the outcome of older people in suits attempting to advertise to a market who want media functionality and connectivity. And a PR push that should of been shot on sight.
Although I have a lot (so, so much) more bad things I could say about the current state of Blackberry outside the business world it makes more sense to move on and assume they have learnt some lessons and that by taking TAT into the company they are preparing to make a serious attempt at having an operating system that is geared towards the social networking masses by hammering hard on the anvil of interface design. This is an ideal situation because as hideous as their current system is there is no denying their mastery of connectivity and hardware.
Apples iOS and BBOS have something in common in the way they manage data throughput in the background to minimise bandwidth use and increase battery longevity and although it would be silly to suggest that RIM will suddenly surpass Apple in terms of overall design their new Swedes are certainly going to help.
Knowing what The Astonishing Tribe could do with 2D screens I can’t help but be excited about the possibility of them being given glasses free 3D screens to work with in the near future.
More video can be seen on the always brilliant Engadget Show in episode 013 and a demonstration of stereoscopic UI via TV can be seen thanks to Intomobile.com.