From 2D computers to a 3D world with virtual reality

  • Posted on January 30, 2017

One of the great moments in the history of computing was the incorporation of graphical interfaces as a mode of interaction with users. This took some time and was the sum of several scenarios, which made this milestone an important one. Computers were beginning to become more popular and cheaper allowing Bill Gates’s idea of “a computer in every house” to come true.

When graphic interfaces started to became mainstream, everything changed significantly. Once a user understood the concept of windows and buttons, computing got easier. A color palette picture in a button, probably took us to an application to “draw and paint.” If you had a printer, you only had to find the printer picture and get to the print queue  [CLICK TO TWEET].

All this user interaction with computers was a two-dimensional user experience or also called 2D Graphical User Interface. Thanks to advances in hardware, we now have access to three-dimensional user interfaces. Virtual reality and augmented reality devices, such as Oculus Rift or Microsoft Hololens, open up a new range of possibilities that can interact with other computers.

At Avanade, we’ve been working with 2D apps since the early 2000s and we learned a lot during these years and we’re probably the best partner in the world if you need a .Net or a Microsoft technology-based app. However, the future will be 3D apps and we’re already moving in that direction. We actually showcased Hololens at this year’s NRF event since we’re applying VR to the retail industry.

In my own experience, I dedicate time daily to improve my skills in new tools like Unity. Unity is a tool that was initially thought to create games and which today allows us to create many different types of user experiences: games, education tools, control panels, etc. At Avanade, we are opening Global Digital Studios in different locations to support these new user scenarios.

Inside the Digital Studios we design and develop new digital experiences, using collaborative processes and innovative technology. We also learn how to match our digital capabilities into business scenarios. We have remarkable ideation sessions with clients to find new ways to apply this 3D scenarios into their business. Industries like Retail and Health are the usual focus for these technologies. However, having this ideation session with other clients, we found amazing opportunities in logistics, financial services and more.

And how about the future? It most likely in 2020 we will replace our laptop with a device like the Hololens to work in our daily basis. Maybe, I will interact with gestures and a mouse for 2D and 3D apps. I will use a wireless keyboard to write my blog posts in the future version of Word, or I’ll do some crazy GIT commits in a 2D console. At the same time, I will interact with a 3D hologram of a custom cake for my little daughter birthday, while I’m also having a Skype call with my team between Toronto, Seattle and London to plan an Avanade Innovation Day with a client to find new ways to improve his time-to-market. At this point, I’ll drop a pinpoint here to check this post in a couple of years!

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