Tactile 3D – The 3D interface for your windows computer

Please note this product is not longer available! This site is here just for posterity.

This is no game. Tactile 3D is the next generation 3D desktop that aids in organizing your files and directories by allowing you to customize their position in a 3D space. All common file operations are supported. Welcome to cyberspace.

Think of Tactile as a 3D file explorer with the ability to organize in a 3D space by exploiting useful visual and audible cues. The design of the interface is based on our remarkable ability to recall the placement of a virtually unlimited number of stationary objects. Quick! Where's your camera? What drawer are your blue socks in? Tactile 3D effectively identifies files, directories, and drives by using various 3D models. Organizing your data in a more visual way alleviates the current necessity to remember cryptic file and path names to get what you want.

Many features of modern 2D desktops remind us that there isn't enough room to organize large numbers of files. Menus that pop up from nowhere and virtual desktops are indications that a better organizational construct is needed.

Tactile 3D corrects these deficiencies by improving upon traditional tree-based file system interfaces. It is more than a 3D replacement for your 2D desktop. It is an organization system for entire hierarchies of information. It will not try to take-over your current desktop and runs as a standard windows application. The desktop has had decades of development and any improvements need to integrate into that established and robust framework.

The Tactile 3D UI allows you to roam around a 3D space and place objects where you want. Each object gives clues as to its contents by emitting sounds and mapping thumbnails and icons onto certain faces. Other cues include a faster rotation rate for recently accessed content, different lighting for read-only files, and variation in collision sound effects based on file size.

Structurally Tactile 3D is a tree and allows you to explore your entire filesystem. You are able to enter various spaces like hard drives, removable media, and directories. The scale of the the space you enter depends on the number of files and other objects that must fit inside. The overall impression this leaves is one of exploring a vast virtual landscape, with each directory being a new world. It's difficult to describe; so simply try it for yourself.

One of the primary goals of this project was to develop a tool that is both useful and emmersive. A great deal of effort was spent on giving Tactile 3D impressive graphics and sound. However, just as much effort was spent on implementing features not found in standard file explorers. These features include a stack for common file operations. Most file explorers simply erase previous copy or move selections, while Tactile 3D remembers them. There are also features that allow any object to be user-positioned, unlike most systems where only items on the desktop have specific positions.

All objects are numbered, and you can easily scroll to the next or previous one. This is particularly useful for scrolling through image or photo collections. There is a hot-key system that works like radio buttons in a car. Hit the hot-key and you are instantly transported to that location. To use Tactile 3D for organizing music on your CDs, simply grab and move your favourite mp3 or CDDA tracks to the side. The next time that CD is inserted, Tactile 3D will remember where you placed them. You'll be able to quickly determine what tracks you want to play.

If you have questions or comments please feel free to post them in the forums. Tactile 3D may be evaluated for up to 30 days. There is no obligation and no reason not to give it a try.

To purchase Tactile 3D simply click here. Enjoy exploring the virtual reality of your computer.
Latest News
The purchase cost of Tactile 3D has been reduced. Please see the authorize page for details.

The Tactile 3D licence now allows two machine installs per key plus a single backup copy. It used to be only one. The new licence may also be applied to earlier versions of the software if you don't want to download the most recent 1.4.0 version.

Tactile 3D V1.4.0 now officially supports Windows 7. It's still a 32bit application, but has been tested on 64bit (x64) installs.

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