ROOMS 3D Desktops
      what is it?
      register NOW
      things to try
      using plugins
      plugin SDK
      user forum
      contact us
      trade marks
      site map


4D Interface

Copyright and Patents [5]

1. Copyright
2. 27 September 2000 and build 384
3. 10 July 2001 and build 401
4. 13 December 2001 meaning and action
5. 3 February 2002 4D interface and 4D space

Patents / 4D space and non-space

3 February 2002

The metaphors which we draw on with our interfaces can borrow from the impossible.

The impossible in this context includes optical illusions and multi-dimensional realms which correspond only in part to our everyday experience. That correspondence being enough to draw us into perceptive credence (i.e. we think we know what is going on) only for our understanding to dissolve on fuller examination (i.e. we look again or select an alternative view of the multi-dimensional realm).

Typically, the illusion invites us to construct one mental 3D space in response to what we see (e.g. in our view of the metaphor-provoking interface) but when we make what might be taken for motion in our mental space the interface presents us with a view which forces us to remodel our mental 3d space, even to the extent of discarding some or all of the original mental space or of discarding the usual rules of space.

While our experience may be continuous and naturalistic, we may be subject to either illusion or non-space.

Illusion may be such as the traditional distorted room - an object in the far corner of the room appears to get smaller as it approaches the viewer because in fact it was small to begin with but the walls of the room are not square - they are merely arranged to appear square from our viewpoint.

Non-space may be thought of as a 4D space which presents a multitude of 3D spaces, a particular 3D space being available for viewing according to either your current apparent 3D context (in fact your 4D location) or which apparent 3D space and direction you have just come from or have been viewing.

With such non-space you can walk around in what you might normally expect to be a circle and not arrive back where you started.

With non-space, any movement (or even change of view) is not a contiguous transition within a 3D space but a contiguous transition in a 4D space which involves swapping in a new (either virtual or mental) 3D space at every turn.

The 4D interface presents a multiplicity of 2D snapshots from (as many) separate 3D realms such that the user experience can borrow familiar metaphors from each successive 3D realm, while in fact navigating smoothly through the fourth spacial dimension.

Mostly, the 4D experience must be arranged to be contiguous for the user by presenting closely similar 3D realms for small transitions in 4D "space". Otherwise the exerience becomes a slide show which is difficult to follow. (An analog in mathematics is how quaternion (4 vector) arithmetic can inform smooth transitions in 3D vector space)

A 4D interface can be more storage and access efficient than a 3D interface since the user has more and shorter routes to achieve a change in the context of their experience. Put another way, you can store more stuff within easy reach in 4D than you can in 3D or 2D.

The apparent contiguity of 3D worlds which occupy each and every position of the 4D "space" or realm (which contiguity makes the viewers experience comfortable) is acheived by ensuring that adjacently accessed 3D worlds have many features in common, so most journeys through the 4D realm offer a smooth viewing experience with many artefacts appearing to co-exist across the worlds, and thereby appear constant and solid in user experience (of the realm).

Philosophically, the 4D interface journeys through a multitude of possible worlds. Logical, physical, causal etc possibility may be challenged by the realm-designer. To the mathematician, the question may be why stop at 4D? (Note: the word "impossible" in the introduction means simply that we do not expect to make these journeys in real life, or the picture we build in our heads cannot be realised in the physical world. "possible worlds" is a technical device of philosophers and other tinkers [sic]).

The fourth dimension of this discussion could mean "time" but is intended more to encompass an analogue of a physically extensive dimension.

Contiguity of experience through the 4D realm may be facilitated by generating apparent 3D world space from other apparent 3D space according to procedural or reactive transformations as opposed to hard-storing all 4D realm description data.

(The term non-space is used merely to mark the distinction from normally perceived 3D space.)

3 February 2002 (c) Copyright EiDoxis Limited 2002

Addendum 17 march 2002

A 4D engine can use just-in-time drawing to implement its world views.

Just-in-time drawing involves identifying just what is needed for drawing immediately (or very shortly) before drawing of each element is done. Typically this means in between drawn frames. A complete list of elements for each 4D world view may be maintained, or there may be difference lists (i.e. retire that-and-such elements and employ this-and-such elements), or there may be realtime searches for elements which match criteria for display (or inclusion in this world dimension), or there may be realtime assessments of where there are gaps in the would-be scene view (backplane is visible) and where elements are requested for drawing but elements remain unseen.

Elements may be maintained in parallel or as a separate list for the purposes of collision detection - after all a user still needs to collide with an object if moving backwards (when the object is out of sight).

An interesting side-effect of a 4D engine which uses just-in-time drawing is that it can offer a mechanism for producing games levels of infinite size because it can present finite regions of the total games-space each as a separate 3D world while offering a contiguous immersive experience for the user.

17 March 2002 (c) Copyright EiDoxis Limited 2002

Addendum 20 march 2002

4D (or other multi-dimensional) controls are also possible and can be useful.

A 4D control is one which offers more degrees of freedom than a 2D control (like a slider, real or virtual) or a 3D control (like a trackball, real or virtual) or offers distorted or counterintuitive calibration or operation e.g. to pack in more functinoality or choice into what at first sight might appear to be a lower-order-dimension control.

Typically here we are talking about a 4D in-world control for ROOMS which need not necessarily have any real-world counterpart (but could be driven by e.g. a simple mouse. Although one can visualize real-world equivalents like a trackball with realtime variable controls projected, displayed or embossed on its surface).

The 4D control may have e.g. thumbwheels which although at first sight may have the apparent action of a 3D virtual wheel, do not repeat their pattern every 360 degrees but instead offer different (indeed shorter or longer) turning cycles between repeating patterns (i.e. calibrations or scales) - if indeed they repeat at all.

A controlling 4D ball may support several such 4D thumbwheels (each may be operated by a real-world mouse) while the 4D ball itself does not repeat surface content every 360 degrees of (apparent or would-be 3D) rotation.

Indeed the operations of control objects (thumbwheels, buttons etc) could change the context of the 4D control host (the trackball with surface thumbwheels) and provide shortcuts to favorite "dimensional" representations. A common way of operating a 4D control may be to start it up in a particular dimensional space (i.e. a presentational mode or position on a continuous scale) according to context.

Any of these computer generated or real-world 4D objects can stand for any other real-world objects or measurements or tasks, including mental states like meaning, intentions and memories, as well as physical things like machinery and their controls and landscapes and their views and any electronic or mechanical apparatus, or even other multi-dimensional (real or virtual) world objects.

And any of these 4D objects may be experienced by sensory interaction, including visual, touch, sound, warmth, pain etc in singular snapshots from the multi-dimensional space or as part of a continuous experience as the experiencer traverses multi-dimensional spacial locations.

Indeed, even the experiencer could be an automated process or agent which processes, filters, selects, enhances, simplifies or in other ways usefully re-presents the 4D (or other multi-dimensional) content to a human user.

20 March 2002 (c) Copyright EiDoxis Limited 2002



Frequently asked questions

Download ROOMS 442

Build 470
26 May 2007
Release notes List all CoolWare Worlds
ROOMS 3D Desktops and EiDoxis music




World Viewer ROOMS CoolWare
[4d DrainMaze]

[4d refinery]


[Asteroids] (c) Copyright EiDoxis Ltd 2000-2007
[screensavers of free 3d worlds] [abstract art] [economic recession model]
[Web site ranking, promotion and marketing via search engines] [unique pop art studio portraits pics gifts] [personalized (personalised) gifts] [personalised popart gifts] [proactive solution to fuzzy, complex and abstract problems]
3D wallpaper c k y d i p l u c Animated Wallpaper y l u sky k y fun i original l u c k y
EiDoxis music alternative/electronic/indie indie music albums from eidoxis indie music merchandising indie experimental music lyrics, song words listen to eidoxis music eidoxis music downloads live web audio music mixer indie music mixer links at eidoxis
evening courses classes Notting Hill
meeting rooms hire Notting Hill, London
hotels Wells, Somerset