Virtual worlds-3D environments that you interact with just like the real world-have been a futuristic dream of computer users for years. (Remember the 1992 film The Lawnmower Man?) But with the current popularity of MMORPGs (massive multiplayer online role-playing games), Second Life, and other apps, 3D tech is swing something of a renaissance. Sure, virtual worlds aren’t as immersive as the goggles- and-earphones vision of 15 years ago- which may be for the best, considering how the movie turned out. Still, today’s 3D landscapes offer a fascinating diversion.
But getting around a 3D space with the ordinary 2D tools of mouse and keyboard is, by definition, less than ideal. Why not use an interface device designed for 3D navigation?
Installing the SpacePilot 3D Mouse is as easy as plugging in any USB device. Getting accustomed to it is another matter. 3Dconnexion has its own lexicon of navigation terms (pan, tilt, spin, roll) rather than just requiring you to move a cursor around. To get a feel for the SpacePilot, install Google Earth (if you haven’t already) and zoom around our planet. Eventually you’ll find that flying through space with the device is easier, and more fun, than with a mouse. Soaring through Second Life becomes a more entertaining experience, too.
The SpacePilot is designed for much more than 3D entertainment, however. It’s intended primarily for3D artists and comes with plug-ins for tons of popular apps, such as Blender, Maya, SolidWorks, 3D Studio Max, and others, not to mention common applications such as Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop. Meaning you can improve your artistry and have fun at the sometime.3Dconnexion SpacePilot Short reviewsPrice range: $399 directwww.3dconnexion.comCheck This Out:Sandisk Sansa TakeTV: Video, from PC to TV, EasilyTao Electronics Digital Clock Viewer: Cool Photo Frame/Clock ComboAleratec 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Publisher LS: Burn, Baby, Burn