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VWN World Review: 3DNA
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World Review: 3DNA
Main Review

Compatible with Operating Systems:
Win 2K Win 98 Win XP

World Status: Operational


World Purpose: Interface

Age Suitability: Anyone


World-Type

3DNA is a product that attempts to redefine the old WIMP paradigm. WIMP stands for Windows Icons Menus Pointers, and is the basis of almost all modern computer interfaces. This is because WIMP is superior in productivity to command-line interfaces ? a flashing cursor on a blank screen. However, it has long been known that a more natural and intuitive three dimensional interface would be at least an order of magnitude more productive than WIMP, if only we knew how to create such on our computer systems.

3DNA attempts to do this, without requiring special hardware, allowing anyone access to a 3D interface. It is not totally different, still allowing you to have windows, menus, and icons. However, it moves these into a true 3D space that sits where your wallpaper would normally sit ? and where you can wander round, and organise to your heart?s content, creating an interface that works for you.

The World in Brief


3DNA takes the task of orienting users very seriously. When you start it for the first time, it takes you straight to a tutorial world which takes the form of a large number of specific rooms and which is designed to guide you, step by step, through the user interface. The tutorial?s leisurely pace is neither patronising nor overly demanding, and users are free to keep practising the very simple and intuitive tasks over and over as many times as they like before they are happy with the system.



The scene above shows one of these rooms where the user is being shown how to use the drawer units which function as frequent use directories. Also on display are a collection of icons positioned on a desk ornamentally, and which work just as normal when you double-click them. Calculator, search, ?My compute? and Wordpad are in this demonstration.

The two drawer units beneath can be customised to point to any folder you like, with custom labels on their outside. Open them with your mouse, and the actual folder window pops open in front of you, in the familiar 2D format.

The tutorial also introduces you to interactive wall notice boards, which are the cornerstone of 3DNA. There are several types, which are slapped up on the walls at different locations, for you to insert goodies into. The Application Wall for example, has a couple of dozen pockets for applications, just assign a pocket to an application by dragging and dropping, and it takes on the icon for that program. Add, a custom name, and any time you turn to see part of that icon on the screen, you can click it to run as normal.

3DNA goes one step further with the internet. Like with applications, you can erect a wall of web pages. Unlike the applications however, 3DNA uses its own, built-in browser to load the pages into micro-windows on the wall.

You end up with a weird collage of different web pages sharing the same wall, and it is perfectly possible to surf up to nine at once, providing your resolution is high enough to see an entire web-wall. If you have bandwidth to spare, they will even auto-update at intervals you designate for each web page or pocket, so you are always on top of new developments, without having to lift a finger.

When you have learnt all that the tutorial has to teach, it lets you go over any part of it again individually, to be sure you are ok with how everything works. After that, you exit to your own version, which you can customise any way you see fit. As you have no wallpaper any more, 3DNA offers back-lit picture frames on the walls, on which to hang your favourite images, as wall hangings to admire in key locations.

3DNA is really fun and easy to use, it certainly makes the interface a lot easier to use for those less familiar with computers. The only real disadvantage is the size. It requires 325mb of memory to run, which may put it out of reach of many of the users who would benefit from it the most.

 

Sub Reviews

Here at Virtual Worldlets, we look at all worlds, whether for entertainment, training, medicare, industry or military use. Thus, we have the situation where different uses judge by different criteria. Below are a series of sub-reviews, each tailored to a different aspect of the world.

 

Educational
Virtual environments as classrooms, museums, theme parks, or galleries. Holding conferences or training for the job at hand. Holding their own, or beating back the physical for locational learning.

3DNA?s interface is certainly suitable for education, as some of its landscapes can be bright and cheery, highly clinical, or very historical. Each ?skin? for 3DNA is an entirely different interface world with a totally different theme. This makes it perfect for capturing the interest of pupils or students who may otherwise find themselves distracted, and the customised desktop it offers can be securely locked down.

They also allow the interface to blend seamlessly with the task at hand, from mixing chemicals or playing with molecules, to looking at the history of the countryside, or dealing with a play.

The only disadvantage for this use, is the interface environments are solo. Only one user is visible within the interface at any time, and no co-operation is possible.

 

Future-Proof
This is an environment which is trying to pioneer, to plough ahead, to carve new ground. It has its sights set squarely on the future and is going to do everything it can to get us there.

3DNA is certainly a step in the right direction for an interface of the future. It blends the current generations desires from video-gaming, and the ideals of a lightweight VR interface into one package.

However, it is still limited by the fishbowl interface of a computer monitor, and its lack of real customisation ? no moving the furniture or knocking down a wall ? may ultimately let it down.

The memory requirements are also too high for non-gaming PCs, which excludes the older populations, and some less powerful business machines.

 

 

Overall
A brilliant idea well executed. If your computer can run this, and you use windows a lot, then this interface is recommended, as it moulds to you, and increases your productivity, four fold or more.

 

Rating 72 / 100
Newbie Friendliness
15.0
/ 15
Community Values
0.0
/ 15
Believability
9.0
/ 15
Immersion
13.0
/ 15
Administration
9.0
/ 10
Automated help
9.5
/ 10
Code Integrity
9.5
/ 10
Entertainment
7.0
/ 10

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Client OS:Win 2K, Win 98, Win 2K, Win 2K

World Purpose:

Age Suitability:



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