Thinktank Research Agendas




Database Projects 


6th Generation IT

Education Projects



 Interface, Presentations, & Interaction



SQL3D is Infomaniacs' technical architecture and schemata that builds on and extends industry standards to enable applications using 3D data to interoperate with each other, support multiple users in sharing 3D data without conflict, seamlessly integrate 3D, 2D, multimedia, temporal, and alphanumeric data, and exploit the strengths of distributed data and object management.

SQL3D integrates real-time 3D content into traditional data management systems and application platforms and provides such content with persistence, multi-user concurrency and consistency, durability, security, scalability, and distributivity.

Read the full presentation of SQL3D.

Spatial (3D) User Interface to Data and Objects

    The 2D Graphical User Interface opened up the world of computing to tens of millions of users by employing graphical representations of data and computer functions, based on the easily understood desktop metaphor. Today, a new group of users, numbering perhaps in the hundreds of millions, is being attracted by the widespread availability of seemingly limitless resources on the Web, and supported by the ongoing convergence of computers and consumer electronics. This new user population, driven by needs and goals that are also new, demands a new user interface paradigm, one that is even more natural and direct than the GUI. The Spatial User Interface is the killer app of interactive 3D. This project will explore 3D User Interface design alternatives that are consistent with technology likely to be available to users in the near future.

Presentations as Adventures

    Presentations are how we communicate information that is not simple, where ideas form a structure that must be developed. Powerpoint and HTML have provided a baseline for presentations, be they one-on-one, in the boardroom, or on the web. However, this lowest common denominator approach has failed to make presentations any more communicative, informative, captivating, or entertaining - presentations just all look alike now, only adding to the monotony.  

    While presentations were becoming more uniform (and more boring), consumer games and educational titles exploded, becoming more informative and exciting, through the unflinching exploitation of multimedia, interactive 3D, and multi-player participation. Until recently, the time and expense associated with game development has prohibited the preparation of presentations of a similar nature.  

    The Presentations as Adventures Project will determine if current and forthcoming technologies can make the preparation of "game style" presentations straightforward and inexpensive, and if so, what technologies should be used and what others still need to be developed. Beyond technology issues, the project will explore how the storytelling techniques of myth and metaphor, so successfully employed in cinema, can be applied in the preparation of adventurous presentations.


    As we prepare to enter the third millennium we see countless databases connected in a web, available to millions; consumer electronics converging with high performance computers; user interfaces taking on the qualities of virtual realities. But what attention has been placed on the other side of the interface, on the physical settings in which humans participate in digital reality? Contemporary offices and living rooms, strikingly similar in structure to dwellings of a millennia ago, were never designed with digital reality in mind. The inVironment Project explores the "other side" of the interface, seeking to design a physical infrastructure to support both the humans who inhabit digital reality as well as the machines that generate it.


    Electronic and photonic technologies for enhancing the creativity of groups.

By Linda Von Schweber
& Erick Von Schweber

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Updated January 22, 2002