IN A NUTSHELL
- Personal project
- App turns smartphone in a magic 3D controller
- Unique and intuitive controlling expeience
Every Friday, my colleague Elio and I meet in our studio to experiment with sensors and all kinds of gadgets. Somehow we played with the sensors of the smartphone, hoping to make an intuitive musical instrument. Unfortunately, nothing came of it because smartphones are terrible at recognizing hand gestures. But they are very precise when it comes to spatial orientation.
When we passed the sensor data to a 3Ds Max and thus coupled the 3D object with the cell phone, it rotated exactly as the smartphone in hand. It felt magical, as if the virtual model was in our own hands. In all 3D controllers up to that point, one would rotate the virtual camera to navigate. That doesn't feel as immediate and intuitive as our discovery.
The other challenge was of an anatomical nature: the human wrist only has limited freedom of movement to the sides (abduction and addition) of 60°, so it isn't easy to turn the virtual object around holding his smartphone in hand.
The image was an inspiration to the user interface. On the phone screen, we now have a landscape of lines. Using the horizontal and vertical swipe gestures, you "move" forward, backward, or turn to the sides.
On the one hand, it perfectly visualized the user inputs. On the other, it was a visually delightful experience.
In 2016, FreeDee not only won a Red Dot Award but was also included in the category "Best of the Best". The joury stated: “a path-breaking solution” .