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Spectasia is a design for a new class of 3-D Lookable User Interface which enhances the information visualization and retrieval capabilities of computer users in a wide range of circumstances. Spectasia amplifies visual search, navigation and also selection capabilities of users when interacting with digital content. It employs curvilinear perspective which is similar to an extremely wide-field view of a scene as projected by a fish-eye camera lens. We chose to use this form of perspective in order to provide an exaggerated impression of depth to the user, and also to provide an expanded representational “space”.
Here a large number of objects can be rapidly scanned, and the impression of item location, and 3D or depth, is a very strong one. A key advantage is that users can focus their attention on the precise screen location of desired items with greater accuracy, immediacy, and also within a predictable time-scale.
Spectasia is applicable in those situations in which a smooth blending of focus (i.e. projected visual detail) plus context (positional, ordinal and structural relations) is to be maintained during simulated optical zooming and panning operations. The visual objects can be animated under user control to either bring new regions of the hierarchy into view and/or to bring “distant” objects closer to the viewpoint.
Spectasia also employs other presentation mechanisms (ranking along an axis, ranking along a radius, and drilling through icon classes) to allow other attributes of the data space to be examined. Where an array of displayed objects extends beyond the bounds of the display, the projection may be animated or scrolled (laterally or in the orthogonal direction) to simulate optical panning/zooming.
Simple to use on-screen navigation cursors, scroll position indicator displays and level indicators allow the user rapidly to navigate, and to efficiently browse, all types of content.
Spectasia is applicable in a wide variety of information display scenarios, including hand-held devices, PCs, information kiosks and shopping terminals. The display area can be finely scaled to achieve an efficient utilisation of the span of display elements (or pixels) or to affect rapid field-of-view customisation.
Spectasia is serviceable wherever digital content is to be presented as an array of item choices and/or where product/item categories are to be browsed and/or navigated. It is applicable on different kinds of display systems, including the 2-D or 3-D stereographic class.