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Time-sensitive 3D shading

A GUI that understands the passage of time
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This idea takes egnor’s “accurate 3D shading” idea (since deleted, then recovered) in a different direction.

In many of my workplaces, I wouldn’t want the shading on the screen to reflect the lighting of the environment. It would look way too bland, because of the overuse of fluorescent lighting.

I think we should make the drop shadows (and other 3D effects in the GUI) work like they do outside. As time passes during the day, the shadows should move. In the morning, your windows would cast a shadow to the right, gradually passing to a downward shadow near noon, then shade to the left. Likewise the 3D effects on the edges of buttons, scrollbars and other screen widgets would change during the day. This would include the little reflection highlights on the shiny buttons in WinXP and on the Mac.

An operating system setting would let you specify what direction your PC screen faces, so the direction of shadow movement could be customized to your locality. (Especially handy if you do indeed have a window nearby)

While we’re at it, why not simulate the effects of sunup and sundown in the screen color selections? Blend in a nice orange effect near the time of local sunrise, fading it out as the sun comes up, then a similarly reversed effect at sunset. The color scheme would have “daytime” and “nighttime” sets to further the effect. The sunrise and sunset effects would help soften the transition between the two color sets.

This would give users a nice indication of the passage of time, which many users desperately need. This could help provide subtle visual cues for their work day. "Ah, the screens starting to go orange, time to write my daily report."

Perhaps this would put an end the old excuse: “I was sitting at the computer and lost track of time!” It could potentially cut down on folks working too long at a stretch--a cause of workplace burnout, repetitive stress disorders, broken marriages and much more.

krelnik, Oct 20 2002

Planetary shading http://time.gov/timezone.cgi?UTC/s/0/java
Find current shading values for your favorite bakers [lurch, Oct 21 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

inflatable keyboard pillow http://www.halfbake...20keyboard_20pillow
cross-marketing opportunity [krelnik, Oct 05 2004]

Sundial http://www.amazon.c...103-2951216-4993454
Screen Background that uses time lapse photos and syncs with daylight [tmorrow, Oct 05 2004]

accurate 3D shading accurate_203D_20shading
[egnor]'s idea which was the jumping off point for this one [krelnik, Jan 18 2005]

Partially baked for Mac OS/X http://stereopsis.com/flux/
Flux does what is described in paragraph 5, on OS/X systems. [krelnik, Mar 19 2013]

[link]






       It's possible to configure your Unix/Linux wallpaper to gradually change colour in time with the clock. However, this is much cooler and doesn't require such an unfriendly OS, so it gets a croissant from me.
calum, Oct 20 2002
  

       Say no to Windows Bloat. Mad idealogues like these are the culprits.
General Washington, Oct 20 2002
  

       As a desktop clock, you could have a sundial that "really" works.   

       Aside: in the US broadcast world, network graphic packages often are broken into "dayparts" with animation elements having palettes and attributes that subtly (or sometimes overtly) reflect the time of day they are intended to be aired.   

       Aside: I think "bloat" is a non-issue. In a day where a MB of disk space costs a fraction of a penny and RAM is cheap, bloat crying is passé--just so 90's.
bristolz, Oct 20 2002
  

       [bristolz] I agree on bloat. Video cards have very sophisticated coprocessors on them now, so alot of the work for this (alpha blending the shadows and so on) wouldn't even be done by the main CPU.
krelnik, Oct 20 2002
  

       Does the screen go black at nightfall?
FarmerJohn, Oct 21 2002
  

       That would certainly tend to send people home to their families, wouldn't it?
krelnik, Oct 21 2002
  

       I seem to have filled my 40GB hard drive in under 4 months. My computer can no longer hibernate.   

       Admittedly this might be related to my 5000 MP3's.
General Washington, Oct 21 2002
  

       [st3f] said it perfectly. Beautiful.   

       [egnor], This idea's time has come. If you haven't already been working on it please consider doing so. I see this as a full scope circadian interface going beyond "novel accessory."   

       Homogenized environments lack natural cues and are at best "tolerated" by average people. This impact is underestimated in sensory motivated individuals. Your idea could profoundly effect young learners, autistic users, the depressed or emotionally impaired.   

       Develop this in council with artists and psychologists and market it through education channels. The niche would be well served.
hollajam, Oct 21 2002
  

       hollojam: I think you just annotated the wrong idea.
st3f, Oct 29 2002
  

       I don't think she just did it . . . I think she did it a few days ago--maybe, say, 8 days or so.
bristolz, Oct 29 2002
  

       Actually, st3f, based on her mention of a "full scope circadian interface", I think she annotated the right idea but just mentioned the wrong author.
krelnik, Oct 29 2002
  

       [krelnik] that's it exactly. I'm impressed. My apologies to you for not correctly addressing you as the author. I usually have a minimum three or four open windows going at any time...   

       [st3f], the points I made might have been lost in my enthusiasm for this idea. I imagined it expanded and used as a complete "experiential computer interface" by ADHD children and those who border on a higher functioning level of autism or "Asperger's Syndrome" to begin with. This group of individuals' perception to change is grossly under recognized.
hollajam, Oct 29 2002
  

       brilliant! maybe a corrisponding background... such as a beutiful meadow landscape for day and a rotating sprinkle of stars for night. While you're at it why not use a morphing series of photos for the background scenes that simulate the seasons as well. This is definatly bakeable.
plasticornflake, Feb 13 2003
  

       Yes, someone please bake.. even if it has 2 options; hardware assisted full 3d rendering (with caustics.. aheh), or a dumbed down version for those less fortunate.   

       This is acctually related to an idea I really liked from Michael Marshall Smith's book "Only Forward" - the walls in the main character's apartment changed colour dependent upon what time of day it was.   

       I've always liked that idea.
JackandJohn, Feb 19 2003
  

       Like so many I use a laptop. I'll need a GPS card so that the poor little beast knows its whereabouts so the shadows fall correctly.
Jackeau, Feb 20 2003
  

       Hmmm... how about developing a sensory PCI card which allows the machine to detect the nature of the lighting in the room? ... That way, when you switch on the room lights at night, the screen could become visible again.   

       Just imagine the cliche swinging lightbulb and the sickening movement of window shadows that would result!?
Sideris, Jun 10 2003
  

       also a screensaver would be nice... simulating a "look from a window" with some kind of static looking to a changing 3d world
NickHunter, Jun 10 2003
  

       //machine to detect the nature of the lighting in the room//
That was actually the basis of the idea titled "accurate 3D shading" of which this was a takeoff. See link.
krelnik, Jun 11 2003
  

       Bruce Tognazzini (asktog.com) proposed something very similar in one of his books (I think it was in _Tog on Interface_). I like your twist on it.
mannby, Jul 28 2003
  

       Killer idea krelnik.   
      
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