Technology is constantly advancing, and everything advances with it. It is just a matter of time when computer cursors as we know them today advance as well and transform into something else. Judging by the new research 3D cursors are coming.

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Why we need to replace “traditional cursor”?

A traditional cursor that looks like a tiny arrow on a big screen will, soon, become just a history. After all, it was invented in 1964 and needs some modifications. Scientists thought of a way to transform a cursor into a tool that can navigate around 3D space. This discovery comes from a team of researchers from the University of Montréal in Canada. During their research, scientists came up with a way to transform tablets, smartphones, or any other devices with interactive surfaces into a translucent controlling plane where users will be able to choose and manipulate their selections in a 3D world.

The lead researcher of the study was Tomas Dorta, a professor at the University of Montreal’s School of Design, and the 3D cursor itself was officially unveiled at the SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference in Los Angeles.

If you can’t click, how can you select something?

According to Dorta, 3D cursor is important because it will play an essential role in how virtual reality software responds to user’s movements in reality. As a mouse and arrow-pointing cursor are too confined with the significant advances in the field of technology, this relationship mouse – cursor has to evolve as well. With this cursor users will be able to select objects in the 3D world.

When an individual wants to select something they have to move the mouse or use a trackpad and click onto a preferred object. With the 3D cursor, the screen of device the individual’s using will turn into a trackpad. In turn, it will show the translucent plane on the screen that will be able to react to all sorts of movements.

For example, if you select an image of a flower on the screen when selected it would seem like you are, indeed, holding that flower in your hand.

How does it work?

The controlling plane will appear on the screen, and it can decrease or enlarge the object when the user expands it or pinches it with his or her fingers. Moreover, when the user twists or tilts device, it will do the same. And of course, 3D cursor will be able to copy and paste one’s selections. While they were developing this new technology, scientists succeeded to select tables and chairs in a building and organs inside a skeleton.

For now, 3D cursor technology can only be demonstrated with the Hyve3D technology. Hyve3D is designed to help with the first steps of 3D creation inside virtual environments. In other words, this system visualizes a 3D sketch on a screen right in front of the user.

The primary goal

The main goal of 3D cursor creators is to, eventually; enable the usage of this technology on systems such as Mac or Windows. 3D cursors in personal computers would be highly beneficial for working environments where groups of people work together as a team. With 3D cursor, they would be able to access each other’s desktops and see applications and files in 3D that could, potentially, increase the productivity of the team.

At the moment, window formats on computers are too limited, and a 3D version of a desktop would improve the performances and interactions at the same time. Moreover, there would be no need for applications like Dropbox or USB devices to send and receive files. You would just have to swoop at the file with our phone to grab it to save that file to your device. 3D cursor and actions we will be able to perform remind us of the movie Minority Report where scenes of Tom Cruise swooping images from one side to another became so popular they are still used in many movies, TV shows, even commercials.

Who will benefit from this cursor

According to the lead researcher, the 3D cursor will be highly beneficial for collaborative uses related to architectural and interior design, computing, even medicine, etc. It is because the screen is collaborative which enables multiple users to connect their devices to software where they can all work together on a certain project. They will look at the same space, but from different angles, which will allow them to evaluate the project in detail and come up with the perfect plan how to perform a certain task. Naturally, every person within that group will be able to access and manipulate their part of the project separately.

The greatest advantage of 3D cursor is the freedom of movement through a 3D world which can allow scientists, architects, designers, even gamers to perform their actions easily. Moreover, with this kind of freedom doctors will be able to observe complicated patients’ disorders from all angles and come up with the best solution to save someone’s life.

Conclusion

3D cursor enables users to navigate around 3D space and observe creations, plans, or various tasks from many different angles. It is certain that this freedom of movement will lead to many scientific discoveries and improvements shortly.

Author Bio

Willo Conner (1977-) A freelancer, online article editor, eBook author for technology and health. He has explained new and upcoming technology programs on the topics of tech news, gadgets, computers and how we can use the technology for our health, health tips for seniors. He writes for many online publications. He’s one of the few tech consultants who has consistently worked in nearly every aspect of tech and health communications. Follow him here – Facebook, Twitter, Google+