When you really need that 3DBB

I was having a discussion today with some colleagues about when you really need 3D to explain something. For context, imagine you are trying to explain something using only words.

Your verbal pictures fail to get the idea across, so you go to the whiteboard. After you’ve made a few drawings, the person you are talking to suddenly has an “Aha!” moment. As the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

But what is the equivalent power-up between the whiteboard and a hypothetical 3D holographic drawing space, floating in the air between you and the person you’re talking to? What concepts would be very difficult to explain with a whiteboard, but fairly straightforward to get across if you could just draw your thoughts in the air in 3D?

Fifty five years after the great Phineas J. Whoopee first opened up his 3DBB, I think this remains an open question. I have some thoughts about it, but I’m curious to first hear what others have to say.

3 thoughts on “When you really need that 3DBB”

  1. VRChat has a drawing room where players can draw in 3d while talking and gesturing. Here are some captures I found, but did not watch closely:

    My guess is that, for many conversations and concepts, a 2d whiteboard would be easier to use. Abstractions reduce and model ideas and reality. 3d abstractions would likely be more complex, offering less reduction and therefore less abstraction.

  2. The next step from the board is not a hologram but a video. I’d argue time is a more useful third dimension than depth (for communicating ideas). From there, you could go to a hologram, but, since you already have time, that hologram is really four dimensional.

    I’m struggling to come up with an example of where an animated hologram would be more useful than a 2D video. Maybe explaining how the differential in a car works? (But there are already a lot of good videos about that).

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