back to article Meego goes 3D

Yesterday Nokia and Intel announced that the future of mobile interfaces is 3D, and that everyone else will soon be following their Meego platform into the third dimension. 3D is certainly a bandwagon, and Nokia likes hopping on board bandwagons whenever it spots one. This time it's dragging Intel along for the ride, but …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just who has produced a handset that is "revolutionary"?

    and dont say Apple, because thats narrowsighted and bias.

    Remember the majority are not as easily convinced as Apple fannybois.

    (or every one would have one. You can 'feel' the Apple bias on this site.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hey Mr Obvious

      "Just who has produced a handset that is "revolutionary"?

      I suggest you take a look at

    2. Alastair 7


      (preface: I don't like Apple, but...)

      The iPhone was revolutionary. Not necessarily in the actual technology it presented, but in making that technology accessible. Us geeks have had e-mail, IM, and web browsing on our phones for years- but it wasn't till the iPhone was released that the masses started to adopt these kind of ideas.

      Now, you can attribute that to the UI, marketing, or whatever you want, but the point still stands. The iPhone *did* revolutionise people's phone usage- just look at the amount of data consumed these days.

  2. Code Monkey

    Nice, but what is it for?

    I don't much see the point of mobile 3d but enjoyed the digs at Sadville all the same.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Like video calling, this is clearly technology for porn maniacs

      1. Mr Grumblefish

        Polygonal Porn

        I'll pass on that thanks.

  3. Gary 24

    You are wrong

    This is about creating a buzz in the developer world about Meego and getting people to exploit the 3D on the newer generation of Nokia handsets, and with a backer like Intel it can't really go wrong, what if this is folly? so what? it gets a lot of tomorrows developers onto the Meego / Qt (portable to Symbian) bandwagon....

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Nokia's Problem

    ..isn't easily fixed as they are a Mobile Telecoms Equipment Company. Modern phones are more computers than phones - consequentially the computer companies (Apple, Google) dominate. RIM can also be considered a data/computer company.

    Nokia might be great in terms of electrical engineering, but they don't have a clue about software.

    1. Adam 10


      I have an HTC Desire so am bought into Android, but I would hardly say that Apple and Google dominate the market. I still see far more people with Nokias and Sony Ericcsons, although I would agree that iPhones and Androids are far from rare now.

  5. TheRobster Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Woah, woah, woah

    Ok, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. First things first: 3D in films or on TV or on any screen is bollocks, seriously. In fact, it's not really 3D, it's an optical trick because lets face it, it's still being presented on a 2D medium. Until I can smack the lead character upside the head, or actually use my hands to control the UI instead of a mouse or other controller, then sorry guys it's not worth the effort.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agreed

      I agreed with you up to what you said about the controller.

      My definition of 3D would be not where it appears 3D, which is your point about the illusion as like you say, it's displayed on a 2D medium. It's fixed perspective 3D, real 3D, in my opinion, is more like a computer game or the holodeck, where you can move around the scene and view it from any angle. How you move about shouldn't really matter in the definition of 3D.

      Similar to what they were planning with the football and multiple camera angles.

  6. Si 1

    3D screens could be the next big thing

    I could easily see the same sort of 3D screen used on the 3DS and some mobile phones becoming a standard feature on smart phones. I think using the 3D effect to make text "hover" and stand out from web pages, ebooks, emails, texts and apps would work well. I think for web browsing in particular having the text separated from its background could be very effective.

    It could also be used to make buttons or controls that are active stick out from the screen, making it easy to see what can be interacted with.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much of a leap

    Mobiles have (or very soon will have) pretty powerful 3D engines in them (PS2+)- and often/usually this is used to accelerate the 2D side of things - who needs 2D acceleration when you can have 3D but use it in 2D. Same with desktops I guess.

    Not a big leap then to start putting 3D features in the GUI (see coverflow for a good example), since the phone hardware is already there.

    Relatively low cost to do, and may be big. Could be a good course for N to take, but I wouldn't use Intel for the 3D - their stuff is a bit slow and power hungry. Intel must really be sucking up to Nokia to get their stuff in there, when it isn't as good as the competitors.

    1. oddie


      3D has only 2 areas where it will succeed: Movies (and mainly porn, for regular movies 3d will be as exciting in a few years as surround sound is now.. Sure it will be fun for a while, but ultimately 'mood' is set by light and sound (shadows, textures and the music).. oh, and content as well I suppose), and 'extras' for interfaces.

      Not the ENTIRE interface mind you (that would be like finding out that you could have animations, and then deciding that every element of your interface must be animated, all the time). Probably things that wants to get your attention, or parts of the interface where it would make sense to be tricked into thinking that there are more than 2 dimensions. I don't think we will see (or want) interfaces like the Jurassic Park version of Unix.

      Games will be fun for a while, then we will get bored of the novelty factor (or at least as soon as we realise we still can't look up princess peach's skirt). I'm still getting a 3DS mind you, I like bandwagons :).

      I think this is next: (for those behind corporate firewalls)

      (Which handily will also take care of my last point about 3d in games).

  8. David Pickering

    2d in 3d

    htc sense ui is 3d (andriod and winmo) - uses opengl/lua - has been around for ages

    and no, imo a 3d interface for phones is a stupid idea if they expect you to navigate it with just your finger - i have yet to see a compelling 3d interface for any operating system tbh - the HCI (input mostly) just isnt there.

    i do like meego though.

    and what the fuck is a prosumer.

    1. The Indomitable Gall


      It's a misspelling of the portmanteau word "pr0nsumer", which I think is self-explanatory.

  9. thomas k.
    Thumb Down

    More empty promises from Nokia?

    3D? I'd settle for Flash 10.1 for the N900 that was demo'd / promised "real soon now"

    after the device launched last year. Word is it's not coming now, or ever, Thanks Nokia.

    Love my N900, otherwise, btw.

    1. Wize

      Nokia need their 2D sorted

      Their wonderful N97's graphics lag when using the standard user interface, never mind when doing something fancy. Not to mention all their hardware mistakes.

  10. Doug 3
    Paris Hilton

    Windows is the benchmark for value of new tech? say WHAT?

    I had to stop when the author started mentioning how they used Windows to figure out how useful 3D is on the desktop. That was enough for me since NEVER has Microsoft lead the market in new technology and even when they followed, it was usually mediocre at it and if it even succeeded, it took 3+ versions to get something useful.

    Clue: you do not go to a company for insight into new technology when they've not only been found guilty of leveraging their monopoly to harm competitors, they are well known in the tech sector to being the last to the party with anything of value.

    Remember how many times Microsoft has said that they've spent millions on usability studies and each time they changed the user interface? I think it was HP who added more than 8.3 characters to Windows file and folder names so I laugh when someone tried to use Microsoft as an example of leading edge technology. And VRML didn't make it because it as too costly to get PC graphics cards to do the number of phong triangles needed for reasonable usage. And the dialup speeds didn't help much either. Look at all the 3D multi-player games for a clue at how useful 3D is today and how VRML would still be a game changer if anyone started backing it again. But you won't see Microsoft backing such an open standard, it's not their style and only enables others to compete with their monopoly.

    Paris because everything is about marketing Paris in her world just like everything is about marketing Windows at Microsoft, it's not about tech or leading anything.

  11. Bob H

    24 people for three years

    I think 24 people for three years is still a substantial investment, that number of programmers is larger than many decent companies have! Ok, the author is right, it won't break the bank of the mega corps, but if it doesn't work then some executive will have to explain why they weren't doing something more productive/profitable.

    Not sure if 3D as a simulation of a world environment is what is needed, but making use of 3D is definitely interesting.

  12. Ed 16

    mmm... I hate to say it but augmented reality

    That and in-handset sat-nav are the only reasons I can see for it beyond gaming. My N95 had - at the time - a rather spiffy 3d engine but being the sort who doesnt need or want to play games anywhere except home I didnt really use them. My Nokie 5800 has no usable 3d I can see (maps does 3d-ish but is pointless in the car unless you want a close up and personal view of a lamppost since you were looking at the widdly screen).

    Although I, again, am not a user I believe augmented reality (awful buzzword bingo term) may be a hot seller in the teen-something crowd and 3d may be useful to overlay augmented 3d information (and possibly commercial 'messages') to the user. I also expect geotagged augmented reality overlayed text messages to be dropped off and picked up depending on your location at some point if its not already in someones specifications sheet.

  13. Paul Ireland

    One of many 3D metaphor projects

    3D interfaces, 3D desktop metaphors, have been investigated in the past by quite a few of the big players, including Sun (Project Looking Glass), Microsoft (e.g. Task Gallery), and Apple (e.g. Multi-dimensional desktop). When you then include smaller companies, there are a hell of a lot more companies who have tried to come up with a useful 3D interface too. Even my small company, Abstract Worlds Ltd, toyed with the idea with some back-burner projects in the late 90s and early 00s with our PC and Java phone 3D engines, but we were unable to create anything useful at that time, pretty yes, useful no.

    With mobile phones of various screen sizes, developing in 3D does have benefits even if you present a mainly 2D interface, because it means you are not hardcoding to particular screen sizes. We found this benefit especially useful with our Java phone game in 2002 Strangemaze 3D since one version would work on various phones various screen sizes.

    It also makes sense that if you are limited by small screen sizes, as you are with mobile phones, then if you cannot expand x or y then make use of the virtual z axis. However you can expand x and y, it is called panning or scrolling, and that along with zoom, can make the z axis redundant even though you are giving the user the impression of going backwards or forwards depthwise with zoom. Perhaps the most useful application of this kind of 3D to date is the iPhone's multi-touch drag and zoom, which isn't 3D at all.

    But who says you have to use full 3D at all (one of the mistakes of VRML which was full 3D) to give the user a type of 3D experience (the original raycasted 2.5D Wolfenstein or Doom anyone? 360 panoramic images, etc)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia adds police radar to handset

    This is about a user interface going full circle.


    Hand movement with acceleration/deceleration.

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