1. What is Tactile 3D? Tactile 3D is an application that, in its very simplest form, takes over the functionality of
a file browser. It gives you access to your files, folders, and drives in a 3D environment where you see
them as various models. The space you end up working in is much more visually stimulating as well as more
natural for organization.
2. Who should use Tactile 3D?
Well, everyone. Tactile 3D can be used to organize your photos, music collection, documents. Whatever you
want. It will even remember the positions and sorting arrangement of files you have on DVD ROMs and other
4. Are other platforms planned for the future?
Yes, Tactile 3D is being designed to accomodate other platforms. Cross platform APIs are being used
where possible and most of the OS specific code is reasonably isolated. If all goes well only these will need to be
ported to make everything work. However, due to the differences in how filesystems and shell integration work on
different platforms, it is still a significant amount of work. Both MAC OSX and Linux are contenders but there
are no solid plans yet.
5. Is Tactile 3D practical in terms of CPU usage?
Absolutely. When Tactile 3D doesn't have focus it goes to sleep. It basically uses 0% in this state;
or you can set it to update at a slower fps. The neat thing is, it's still very responsive. It's a very light
sleep. If, for example, a window is dragged over-top of Tactile 3D, it responds immediately by redrawing.
6. Is this just a gimmick?
No, this is the future. At the very least it puts a new spin on how information is, or could be, organized on
todays computers. Although the novelty factor is high, we hope that it will end up being a more efficient way to
organize information. Ideally we would like to see people use the spacial positioning, shape, colour, and sound
of the information to identify it; as opposed to simple filenames.
7. Is Tactile 3D free?
The software may be evaluated without payment or commitment for 30 days without authorization. After that time
it must be authorized (paid for) for continued use.
9. Will Tactile 3D remember where I position files for my CDs?
Yes, it will even remember different audio CDs for you, so you can arrange your songs differently
for each disc. For example, you could sort different styles of music in different sorting arrangements.
Tactile 3D also implements the CDDB protocol and can retrieve album and song information
over the internet.
10. Do my files have to be registered with Tactile 3D for them to be visible?
No. Nothing special need be done. Tactile 3D integrates with the shell in a natural way, and you'll
be able to see all the files on your hard-drive right away. In fact, if you manipulate other files, folders, or
drives while Tactile 3D is open, the changes will be noticed by Tactile 3D as they ocurr.
12. Will future releases reset the position of all my objects?
Upgrades normally should not reset any custom positioning of any objects. However, we cannot guarantee this.
In general as much information as can be kept will be kept. Newer versions will be able to read the older
versions database files. The database files will always be saved in the format of the most recent version.
This will happen transparently and needn't be worried about.
13. Can I make my own themes for Tactile 3D?
Not yet. But soon! Currently a theme building kit is being developed (it's September 2006 right now).
The kit will include an exporter for the Blender modeller as well as the tools and scripts necessary to
build a custom theme for Tactile 3D. A scripting API may also be exposed at a later date.
14. Tactile 3D is running really slowly. How do I fix this?
Do you have an AGP on your motherboard? If so get the latest drivers for it. It could make a huge difference.
Additionally make sure you have recent drivers for your graphics card. You may also derive some benefit by
reducing your desktop colour bitdepth from 32 (true colour) to 16 (high colour) or reducing the resolution.
If none of this gives you a reasonable framerate maybe you probably need a faster graphics card.
18. What happens if the filesystem changes underneath Tactile 3D?
If windows is able to notice the change then Tactile 3D will too. Unfortunately some changes are
undetectable. Changes to files on floppy drives, for example, don't trigger Windows change notification
objects. Short of polling nothing can be done about this. The next time the user enters a group on one of
these devices the changes are registerd.
19. Does Tactile 3D give me all the functionality of my current file browser?
Well, in some ways Tactile 3D improves upon simple file operations. For example, in Tactile 3D
you can grab and copy multiple layers (a stack) of files and folders from different places. In most regular
file explorers if you ctrl-c (copy) more than once the last selection will overwrite any previous selections.
Tactile 3D allows multiple grabs and copies of multiple files and folders. Tactile 3D
currently allows you to copy, rename, move, delete, create directories, create shortcuts, sort objects,
position objects, plus a few others. There are, of course, many other behavioural and visual differences making
it difficult to compare the two.
20. Where's the "tactile" in Tactile 3D? Tactile 3D supports Immersion® TouchSense enabled devices. One such device is the Logitech® iFeel
mouse that offers Tactile 3D feedback to its user. Feeling different textures and effects as you navigate
through information space is fully supported.
21. Why doesn't Winamp remain on-top when Tactile 3D is in full-screen mode?
If you want Winamp to remain on-top of Tactile 3D when in full-screen mode
you need to change the following Winamp setting. Goto Options->Preferences->General Preferences and
make sure "Disable always on top while fullscreen applications are focused" is unchecked. Ctrl-A (always on top)
will then work even for full-screen applications.