The Third Reality – The End of the Personal Computer Desktop

    May 20, 2005

In this 21st century of terabytes and gigabytes, in this high-definition age where new ideas “seems” to be redefined hourly, in this Microsoft galaxy, Macintosh stratosphere, planet Linux, where the only question left for desktop “consumers” is “which computer desktop define me as a person?”. Ironic? Actually irony “redefines” the definition of “tyranny”, applied in this now saturated desktop market since the last few years.

The giants of yesterday are now searching today for the next good revolution, lost in their two-dimensional universe, between a liquid crystal display and a plastic molded case, the well known Cerberus of our time obviously don’t know where to look or where to go. New innovation you say? Remember the “desktop search dance” a couple of months ago? Every “less exploited” areas have now reach the point of a next good possible billion dollars head start against everyone else, waiting patiently to be saturate again in less than the number of nano seconds that it takes to read this sentence.

Now, backup, let’s think backwards… What are the evolutionary steps of the personal desktop computer that we know today? For the most respected ones who read this article the answer will probably be by starting with a, let’s say “one-dimensional” static interface, with the MITS Altair, then the Lisa from Apple which introduce the first “two dimensional” graphical interface, later use as a “standard” in the industry until today, later on, stolen by Big Brother’s acolytes and now forced to be implemented worldwide…

Since then what have change? Except better CPU, more memory, more storage, video card capable to render in real time billions of polygons per second, or word processing software that introduce thousands of functions, but how many you are really using? nothing, now stop. What is the real evolution of the personal computer of today since let’s say twenty years? Performance has changed, yes, but what about the concept of a personal computer?

If someone asks you “Can you call a machine ‘computer’ if this machine doesn’t have a screen and a dead rat attached to it?”. Your answer will probably be “no”. Now take a second and pick up that pencil near you…

What did you just do? You just interact in a “tri-dimensional” world, by picking up an object that has specific properties and functionalities. Now can you imagine a 270 degree panoramic view of a virtual world projected in front of you using a head mounted display, where you can interact freely with objects that respond to the movements of your hands or change the current field of view of your desktop, that contain objects and 3D windows floating around, by simply moving your head? What’s described here may be sounds futurist to some of you, but isn’t it the logic sequence that we have been told since the beginning of times… 1, 2, 3, is it the logical evolution the current vision that we have?

Difficult to imagine? Maybe for some of you, but everyone have to admit that a new revolution need to take place, a revolution that will change the way people think, communicate and the way people interact with the information, a revolution that will change our vision and concepts that have change our society for already more than twenty years.

Dominant companies don’t want to redefine what they have done for more than a decade ago. The initiative need to be taken by outsiders, revolutionaries, technological artists, people who think differently and want to redefine what have been defined, isn’t it the concept of the evolution? The clouded vision of the information technology leaders that we know today is limited to a static two-dimensional environment, looking at their computer screen asking to themselves “what else we can do?”. What if the answers are at the wrong place? What if the answers are behind the screen? In a third reality, in a reality where the current limitations of the personal computer desktop of today are pushed, pushed to the next level, another level where the difference between the real world and the virtual world boundaries are redefined, where end users can interact in a new dynamic constructive and visually appealing way, and increase their level of productivity.

From this perspective is it hard to conclude that visionaries of yesterday are not the visionaries of tomorrow?

Romain Marucchi, Founder & Chief Software Architect of Quartz Computer System – Virtual Reality for Ordinary People

Founded in 2005, Quartz Computer System is the first company specialized in tri-dimensional Personal Computer Desktop, virtual reality system for ordinary people and the respective owner and official developer of SiO2, the first OpenGL based 3D Operating System.