3D is clearly booming, and it's not just in the cinema. It's spreading to television and elsewhere, and while 3D on the screen isn't the same as spacial 3D, we doubt it's a coincidence that 3D mice are also coming into play. 3Dconnexion, which has created a certain amount of 3D peripherals in the years, has just announced 3DxWare 10, which is detailed as a breakthrough driver platform that extends the usage of 3D mice to any application, from Microsoft Office to internet browsers and from media players to games.
And now with 3DxWare 10, 3Dconnexion 3D mice can also handle everyday applications with ease. Beta versions of 3DxWare 10 for PC and Mac
can be downloaded for free from www.3dconnexion.com/anywhere, and yes, this basically allows pretty much any piece of software compatible with a 3D mouse. It's hard to imagine how some of those applications will actually interact with a 3D input device, but the good news is that the software is flexible enough to let you try out different things.
Previously, only users of specialist 3D applications benefited from the intuitive, six degrees-of-freedom 3D navigation delivered by a 3Dconnexion 3D mouse. Now, the simple 3DxWare 10 interface allows users to assign keyboard strokes and traditional mouse or joystick movements in any combination to the 3D mouse. Tilt the controller cap to scroll a Web page, twist the cap to adjust the volume in iTunes
, or use all six axes to pilot a helicopter in Battlefield Bad Company 2. The choice of application and assignment of the six axes and up to 32 function keys (depending on the 3D mouse model) is entirely up to the user.
The 3DxWare 10 beta platform for PC and Mac is available for download at www.3dconnexion.com/anywhere and is compatible with 3Dconnexion’s current line of 3D mice, including the SpacePilot PRO (MSRP $399), SpaceExplorer (MSRP $299), SpaceNavigator (MSRP $99) and SpaceNavigator for Notebooks (MSRP $129).