Saturday, January 01, 2005

Future focus

In order to preserve eyesight or to keep eye muscles in proper shape, we're supposed to occasionally focus out the window or on other faraway objects. It's difficult for geeks like myself to remember to do this.

Why should we have to? Why not have the technology solve the problem for us? Why not make the display data itself require us to change focus?

At first, it could be as simple as an "eyesaver" that keeps track of our active usage and makes one of those stereograms pop up when we've been focused too long. (There are already other examples of this approach: third-party software packages that remind you to take a break after typing for X minutes or after Y keystrokes. )

Later, when 3D computer displays become feasible, it would be trivial to present different data objects as being at different -- or even changing -- distances. Even those of us who can't see those stereograms will be saved from having our eyes fall out. :)

We may find that 3D arrangement of data will have other benefits that we haven't thought of. Zooming in and out will have a whole new meaning. And as one of those kids who can't play FPSes, I'll get dizzy trying to use Excel 2010. :)