3D Sketch Pad Draws Images In Light

3D Sketch Pad Draws Images In Light

A sketchpad designed for any augmented-reality device could change how you draw out your thoughts.

Rachel Pincus
  • 24 march 2014

Pretty much any creative knows the terror of a blank page, whether analog or digital, and the difficulty of sketching out only the salient parts of an idea without neglecting how it fits into the landscape around it. What if, for once, your canvas wasn’t just a blank, white space but the real, rich, spatial world? Enter Gravity, proof that AR has matured beyond just a way for people to consume pretty 3D content. It’s also a way for them to get the expansive, sophisticated visions in their heads into the world, where other people can see them.


The developers of Gravity were inspired by Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which proposes that human intelligence, instead of lying on a definite scale of lower to higher, comes in multiple forms, each beautiful and appreciable in its own right. Gravity combines the typically visual skills involved in sketching with the spatial intelligence involved in plotting how things fit into space. “People who are the best at imagining objects, spaces and forms can usually easily create a mental image of their creation in their head and manipulate it, scale it, slice it… This is what is referred to as spa[t]ial intelligence,” write the creators. It should be a dream app for those who frequently work with physical space, such as architects and interior designers – not to mention any industry that benefits from 3D printing.


Instead of requiring complex perspective drawing, Gravity utilizes a glass ‘landing pad’ above which your project floats, allowing you to rotate it and add details much in the same way you would manipulate a real object. This organic process compares favorably with CAD, which “generates perfect shapes that don’t leave anything for your imagination to keep on influencing your idea,” they write. “The other thing with CAD is that it requires to think in terms of functions. And this is where spacial intelligence is defeated. The logical intelligence takes over.” Gravity promises to keep creative juices flowing throughout the process.

Gravity was recently exhibit at the Royal College of Art Work In Progress exhibition, where it drew much positive attention, and the company has filed for a patent. It will be some time before the product is more than a sketch itself, but the dawning of a new era of visual creativity is nigh.

Images: Gravity website, demo video
Source: Real@Real


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