At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Ixonos offers an exclusive preview of the soon-to-be launched Ixonos 3D Engine™ that brings alive the richness of the visual universe and its various dimensions and layers on wireless devices. By combining world-class user experience design with the latest UI technology, Ixonos has created its own user interface engine to enable the design of natural, elegant and engaging 3D user experiences.
With the Ixonos 3D Engine, Ixonos can offer rapid design and implementation of customized high-performance 3D user interfaces for customer companies looking to differentiate their wireless devices from others. “Our core audience consists of manufacturers of smart and feature phones and other types of wireless devices, as well as of companies and brands wanting to bring their own customized devices to the market”, says Sami Paihonen, head of User Experience Design at Ixonos. “Specifically, companies working with Android could use an engaging, yet cost-effective way to differentiate their devices from the rest. And that is exactly what we can now offer”, he adds.
Ixonos 3D Engine utilizes the device’s CPU and GPU chips to deliver high-quality graphics with guaranteed top performance. “The engine frees us from the limitations of individual operating systems and allows our designers to use more creativity when designing customer-branded user interfaces”, Paihonen explains. Ixonos has the capability to design and implement 3D user interfaces for all major platforms from iOS to Android and from Tizen to Windows Phone 7, as well as to bring elegant 3D experiences alive on high and low end devices.
In only a couple of years, 3D has developed into a mass-market phenomenon, with films and television leading the way and wireless devices following suit. While 3D displays and cameras are an attractive novelty in smartphones, they rarely provide real added value to the user. Looking into the phenomenon more closely, Ixonos saw that what is needed are 3D functionalities that actually improve the user experience for the consumer. The underlying design principles of the Ixonos 3D Engine rely on utilizing 3D effects to mimic the way objects behave in the physical world, thus creating foreseeable interactions that match users’ expectations.
“In our reference user interface, we have created examples of an address book, a calendar and a photo gallery based on natural interactions that invite the user to interact with the different UI objects and at the same time guide the user in doing so”, Paihonen explains. For example, when a user of a touch screen device drags the corner of a digital image to move it, the experience resembles lifting an actual physical photo from the table: the photo bends and reflects light according to the way it is moved. According to the same logic, messages and contact cards have their own characteristics that determine how they can be moved around and interacted with. “Our goal is to make 3D interaction feel as natural and engaging as possible for the end users”, he underlines.
At Mobile World Congress, visitors get a chance to witness the allure of two different reference user interface demos functioning on a variety of different wireless devices, including Ixonos’ own smartphone reference design and Samsung’s Galaxy S II tab.