Via camworld: this site is devoted to the search for a “post-PC interface.” I find this stuff intriguing, although I know very little about it. Personally I can only assume that the next big interface development will be abandoning the 2D ‘desktop’ in favour of a 3D environment. As evidence, all I can cite is the example of videogames; as soon as 3D environments were technically possible, the shift away from 2D games happened almost as fast as the film industry’s shift from silent to sound. I would assume this is because 3D worlds seem most like that “reality” thing I keep hearing so much about, and if an interface can appear more real, it enjoys a big jump in usability, given that there is that much less to teach people before they can use the interface. Sound films, to follow the metaphor, being a better user interface than silent ones, inasmuch as they are “more like real life.” (Sorry about the nonstop quotes, but I have a real aversion to the term “reality” and/or “real life.”)
Traffic signs, warning signs, and the like obviously they are iconic, and in a way they spell out a user interface for architecture. In fact, usability in a 3D context will be almost like personal architecture.